Homeless man sent to prison for igniting tents

February 19, 2015
George Winters with his attorney Al Swanson Jr.

George Winters with his attorney Al Swanson Jr.

LUDINGTON — A local homeless man was sent to prison for setting tents on fire in an area known to be a homeless camp last summer.

George William Winters, 60, whose address is listed as the Mason County Sheriff’s Office in his court file, was sentenced in 51st Circuit Court Tuesday, Feb. 17, to a minimum in eight years and a maximum of 40 years in a Michigan Department of Corrections prison for second-degree arson. He was also sentenced to a concurrent term of two years and 10 months to 10 years for attempted second-degree arson. He was credited for 199 days already served in jail for both counts.

Winters pleaded no contest to both counts, Jan. 13. He was convicted by the court of habitual offender, third conviction.

Winters set two tents on fire on private property on South Jebavy Drive last August. According to Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole, the incident occurred after an argument between the homeless man and the tents’ owners.

Judge Susan Sniegowksi also ordered Winters to pay $420 in restitution, along with $266 in fines and costs.

An additional count of second-degree arson and one count of arson of personal property valued at over $200 were dismissed.

– By Allison Scarbrough. Contributing Editor.


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