Two teens charged in $80K E. Manchester Twp. barn fire

Jason Addy
York Dispatch

Two York County teens are facing multiple felony charges for allegedly burning down an East Manchester Township barn in May, causing $80,000 in damage.

Corbin Miller, 19, of the 800 block of Market Street in the township, and Justin Bonham, 18, of Northwood Manor in Newberry Township, are charged with one felony count each of arson with danger of death or bodily injury, arson and criminal mischief, as well as one misdemeanor count each of theft and receiving stolen property, according to charging documents. 

Fire destroyed this barn in the 800 block of Second Street in East Manchester Twp. the night of Sunday, May 21, 2017, Mount Wolf Fire Chief Mark Shroyer said.
(Photo courtesy of Kathranne Witmer

Northeastern Regional Police and Eagle Fire Co. crews were dispatched about 10:15 p.m. May 21 for a barn fire in the 800 block of Second Street in the Saginaw area of East Manchester Township. 

When officers and fire crews arrived, they found a two-story barn completely engulfed in flames, which caused the roof to collapse, Eagle Fire Chief Mark Shroyer said at the time. 

Corbin Miller

No animals were inside the barn, and no one was hurt, Shroyer said, but the fire destroyed the barn, valued at $50,000, and a pop-up camper, front-end loader and other items inside, valued at $30,000, according to court documents. 

More:Chief: Fire destroys East Manchester Twp. barn

'Saw red skies': During a Sept. 6 interview with Northeastern Regional Police about dozens of reported vandalism incidents, Bonham admitted to driving Miller to the barn on the night of the fire and stealing several items, including a wooden cabinet, according to police.

Bonham told police that Miller lit a small decorative hay bale using a bottle of brake-cleaner fluid and opened a propane tank on the camper inside the barn, according to court documents.

Bonham said that after Miller lit the fire, the two fled the barn and met up at the nearby train tracks where they “heard ‘kaboom’ and saw red skies,” Northeastern Officer Corey Sheaffer wrote in the charging documents.

Justin Bonham

Miller was interviewed by police on Sept. 11 after his father called police about his son using his vehicle. While speaking with officers, Miller’s father invited them inside his home on Market Street.

Police say they found found a wooden cabinet matching the one stolen from the barn inside Miller’s bedroom and took Miller to the police station for questioning.

During the interview, Miller said he intended to steal a part from a truck parked in the barn, but there was no truck in the barn. Miller told police he left the barn while Bonham was spraying the camper with brake-cleaner fluid, blaming Bonham for setting the fire, according to court documents.

Both Miller and Bonham remain in York County Prison awaiting preliminary hearings. Miller’s bail is set at $100,000, while Bonham’s bail is set at $80,000.