Man sentenced for fatal arson fire in Harrison Twp.

Local News
Shawn Albertson

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A man was sentenced to 17 years to life in prison for causing a fire that left a 75-year-old dead.

On April 1, 2018, the Harrison Township Fire Department responded to reports of a house fire at 4240 Merrimac Avenue. Once the flames were put out, firefighters discovered the body of 75-year-old Gerald Lee Manns.

No foul play was suspected until officials realized that items belonging to Manns, including his truck, were missing.

His truck was eventually found abandoned in a residential neighborhood in Harrison Township.

Video surveillance and eyewitness accounts were able to describe the vehicle 50-year-old Shawn Albertson left in when he abandoned the truck. That vehicle was found at the Days Inn on Miller Lane in Butler Township.

Deputies entered the hotel room Albertson was staying in and found illegal drugs and items belonging to Manns.

Further investigation confirmed that the fire was the result of arson and forensic evidence linked Albertson to the crime.

On August 31, 2018, Albertson was indicted on counts of murder, aggravated arson, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, aggravated possession of drugs, grand theft of a motor vehicle, and grand theft of a firearm.

On January 10, 2020, a jury found Albertson guilty as charged.

Monday, he was sentenced to 17 years to life in prison.

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