Grand Island Man Sentenced for Setting Fire Inside His Apartment

Modified: January 28, 2021 4:17pm

1/28/2021

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 34-year-old Robert L. Shoemaker of Grand Island was virtually sentenced this afternoon by Erie County Court Judge Suzanne Maxwell Barnes to a determinate sentence of 3 ½ years in prison followed by 2 ½ years of post-release supervision.

On January 31, 2019, at approximately 10:00 p.m., the defendant caused a fire in his Ransom Road apartment by setting clothing ablaze using a lighter.

The fire was largely contained to the defendant’s apartment and a hallway, but eleven neighboring residents had to be evacuated from the building. Damage to the building was estimated at approximately $100,000 at the time of the incident.

Shoemaker pleaded to one count of Attempted Arson in the Second Degree, a Class “C” felony, on January 30, 2020.

As part of his sentence, the Court issued an order of protection stating that the defendant must stay away from the Ransom Road apartment building.

DA Flynn commends the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and the Grand Island Fire Department for their work in responding to the fire and investigating the incident.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Nathanael C. Kapperman and James M. Marra of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau.