SKOWHEGAN — A Solon woman indicted on felony arson and conspiracy charges in January was sentenced this week to six months in jail and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution.

Jennifer M. Sandoval, 31, of Pleasant Street, Solon, entered guilty pleas Monday to arson conspiracy, a class B felony, and to theft by insurance deception, a class C felony, in an agreement with county prosecutors, who dismissed the more serious class A arson charge, according to court documents.

She previously had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The full sentence handed down in Skowhegan District Court was for five years in the state prison, with all but six months suspended on the arson conspiracy charge, and six months in jail on the insurance theft charge to run at the same time as the sentence for conspiracy.

Sandoval also must pay $2,000 in restitution once she is released and will serve three years of probation and have no contact with Anthony Salisbury, who also was charged in the case.

District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said Salisbury has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is scheduled for a dispositional hearing in court May 30.

Sandoval agreed to pay Salisbury to burn her car, constituting the arson and conspiracy charges, according to the grand jury indictment. She then allegedly collected more than $1,000 from the insurance company, which brought the theft by deception charge.

Salisbury and Sandoval were arrested in mid-December. According to an affidavit filed by Jeremy R. Damren, of the state fire marshal’s office, Sandoval paid Salisbury $300 to set her green 2002 Dodge Caravan on fire so that she could collect $2,108.68 from Geico Insurance.

On July 24, 2017, the Bingham Fire Department and Somerset County sheriff’s Deputy Toby Blodgett responded to a report of a smoking vehicle off Brighton Road.

Blodgett stopped two men walking about a mile away from the scene, whom he identified as Anthony Salisbury, 24, and Michael Kennedy, 25.

Salisbury and Kennedy denied knowing anything about the vehicle fire and said that they were lost and trying to make their way to School Street in Solon, according to a court affidavit.

Blodgett got a call from Sandoval later that day, claiming that the vehicle had been stolen at some point during the night from her driveway on Pleasant Street in Solon. Sandoval denied knowing Kennedy or Salisbury.

In the months that followed, investigators heard from two sources that there was reason to believe that Sandoval wanted to get rid of her van and collect the insurance money, with one source adding that Sandoval coordinated with Kennedy and Salisbury to do so.

In August and October 2017, Sandoval told officials that she believed that Kennedy and Salisbury did in fact steal and burn her car.

Damren and fire investigator Ken MacMaster interviewed Kennedy in a hotel room in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, in October. Kennedy said he, Sandoval, and Salisbury were all drinking at Sandoval’s house that night. Kennedy said Sandoval asked him and Salisbury to take her car and burn it so she could get the insurance money, Damren wrote in the affidavit.

Kennedy said that he and Salisbury took the car and crashed it in a ditch. Kennedy said that he was just along for the ride and that Salisbury was the one who lit a plastic bottle and put it in the front driver’s seat of the vehicle. They were later picked up by a person in a Volkswagen and taken to Salisbury’s house on School Street in Solon.

On Nov. 20, Sandoval admitted to arranging for her van to be destroyed and that she, Salisbury and other people were drinking at her house that night, according to the affidavit. She said that when she received the insurance money months later, she met Salisbury in a parking lot in Solon and gave him $300 for burning her vehicle.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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