A Windsor man on probation following his conviction on arson charges in 2017 for starting a fire that destroyed a Gardiner family’s residence was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison on new felony charges, including burglary and tampering with a victim.

Joseph P. Manganella, 41, pleaded guilty to charges of burglary, tampering with a victim, violating a protective order, two counts of violating a condition of release and operating after suspension, and admitted to violating the terms of his probation on the arson case, in November.

Justice Joseph Jabar of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, who was filling in at Kennebec County Superior Court at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta, sentenced Manganella to five years in prison, with none of the sentence suspended.

The five-year sentence is on a burglary charge related to Manganella’s having entered or surreptitiously remained inside the home May 31, 2022, of a Sidney woman who had a protection order against him, and “he was not licensed or privileged to do so,” according to the indictment.

On or between July 28 and 29, 2022, Manganella also tampered with a victim, which court documents indicate was the same woman who had a protection order against him, and attempted to induce her to testify falsely in his case.

His sentence on that charge was four years, to be served concurrently with the five-year sentence on the burglary charge.


The other charges against Manganella also had lesser, concurrent sentences, meaning he is to serve a total of five years on the new charges.

Manganella pleaded guilty to arson and was sentenced to an initial three years behind bars in 2017 on an eight-year sentence, with all but three years suspended, and three years’ probation once he got out of prison.

Manganella admitted to starting a fire that destroyed a camper trailer in which a Gardiner family of five was living at the time. Court documents show Manganella had worked for the couple whose family members were living at the camper while they prepared to build a cabin at the site. The couple ran a roofing company.

The family members were not home at the time of the fire, and Manganella reportedly freed their dog from the home before setting the fire, according to court documents.

He was ordered to pay restitution of $2,500 for the benefit of the victims.

Prosecutor Amanda Seekins said in court Thursday that Manganella still owed much of that restitution. Manganella confirmed he still owes about $1,900.

The new charges on which Manganella was sentenced Thursday came with a $600 fine, which he must pay by January 2028.

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