Matthew Poe
Matthew Poe

A York man who torched the former Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon received no extra prison time when he was sentenced on Friday morning.

Matthew Allen Poe, 25, served about 16 months in York County Prison for the April 25, 2011, blaze. The building had been vacant for three years at the time of the fire.

Sentencing guidelines called for him to serve between three to 12 months in jail, according to defense attorney Erin Thompson.

Initially, authorities estimated total damage to the 922 Loucks Road (Route 3) building at about $1 million.

But in court, the prosecution asked for only $2,500 in restitution.

Thompson said $2,500 was what it cost the owners of the property to secure the building, which was later torn down.

In handing down Poe's 11-1/2- to 23-month sentence -- with credit for time served -- Common Pleas Judge Richard K. Renn said that's the punishment recommended by the probation department's pre-sentence investigation. Renn also imposed the restitution amount and a consecutive two years of probation.

Mental issues: The judge also noted Poe likely set the blaze "as a result of his mental-health issues."

Poe spent 497 days in county prison before being released on $2,500 bail Nov. 7, Thompson said.

He pleaded guilty to one count of arson on Oct. 29, according to court records.

"I believe he had some mental-health issues going on at the time the fire was set," Thompson said.

After being arrested and imprisoned after the blaze, Poe was sent to Torrance State Hospital near Pittsburgh after it was determined he was incompetent to stand trial, according to Thompson.

He was returned to York County Prison after he'd been made competent by his treatment at the state hospital, she said.

Music video? Thompson said Poe apparently set the blaze because he wanted to get cellphone camera footage of a fire, to use in a music video he apparently was making for himself.

Police have said Poe dropped his phone near the fire scene, which helped investigators track him down.

According to police, Poe told acquaintances he wrapped a tablecloth around a brick, lit it on fire and threw it through a window of the building.

-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at levans@yorkdispatch.com.