Jamison Gallion was sentenced to 37 years in prison in a Fairbanks courtroom

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) – In a crowded Fairbanks courtroom, 19-year-old Jamieson Gallion, the man who pleaded guilty to setting fire to several buildings and homes in the Two Rivers area in 2021, sat patiently as a Superior Court judge listened. Paul Lyle executes the last sentence.

Gallion, who was 17 at the time of the crimes, was arrested on August 27, 2021. just 4 days after the fire that engulfed the Two Rivers Lodge.

He was initially charged with 23 offences, including arson, criminal corruption and terroristic threats.

In 2022, Gallion pleaded guilty to five counts of second-degree arson, four counts of second-degree robbery, seven counts of criminal mischief and one count of second-degree terroristic threatening.

“The purpose of today’s hearing is for the court to pronounce judgment,” Lyle said. “The sentence is complex in the balance and it will take me some time to understand why the court has given today’s sentence.”

Judge Lyle explained the consolidation of two counts of first-degree criminal mischief into two counts of first-degree arson. Under Alaska law, both crimes protect the same public interest. First-degree arson and first-degree criminal mischief, both Class A felonies, have the same potential sentencing range. “The double jeopardy analysis of these charges differs from other charges the court has ruled on in recent trials,” Lyle said. “But the written case is relevant to them.” Referring to the fires that occurred at the McKee residence and the Two Rivers Lodge.

The two arsonists had people inside the residence at the time of the crimes.

“The intent and conduct of the crime and arson are the same,” he said. Defendant committed a single act that caused each of the fires at the McKee residence and the Two Rivers residence. Thus, the criminal mischief and arson counts must be consolidated and the defendant will receive a single sentence for each of these properties.”

“This allows the terroristic threats count to be considered under the double jeopardy clause,” Judge Lyle said. “Theft, misdemeanor and arson laws primarily protect property interests. A terrorist threat protects people from fear by communicating threats that the situation is dangerous to people’s lives, that there is property.

Judge Lyle said that making a terrorist threat is classified as a crime against public administration in the criminal code. Not against person or property. “The terroristic threat sentence will not be combined with any other sentence and the defendant will receive a separate sentence from any other sentence,” Lyle said.

“Among fires like this one, where there was no loss of life or actual physical injury, I can’t see any recorded or unreported decisions being considered in the compilation.” “The defendant was involved in a series of fires that caused millions of dollars in damage. He directly endangered the lives of 10 people, some of whom were sleeping.” The judge continued: “He must have known he was likely to do this when he lit a match in the flat at around 2am when people were probably in bed.” Lyle also noted the Two Rivers Lodge fire, “And when he caught fire in a business that had an open sign in the window, he lit the fire.”

“Mr. Gallion wrote letters,” Judge Lyle continued. “To terrorize and humiliate the entire Two Rivers, Pleasant Valley Community for three months, in the summer of 2021. To set fire to an area that, according to his letter of June 2021, he knew had no fire protection.”

Judge Lyle stated that Gallion had forced members of the Two Rivers community to live in fear and cited a letter dated June 24, 2021 (the only letter presented to the court) that was “chilling”. .

“Because of their actions, the Two Rivers Community, the Pleasant Valley Community lost confidence in their neighbors, they lost a sense of security in their homes,” Lyle said, “Some of them lost everything they owned.”

Lyle stated that the case was “one of the most serious fires in the fire class that did not result in death or injury.”

Lyle’s decision took into account several factors, including, in this case, the likelihood of rehabilitation, prior criminal history, family support and Gallion’s expression of remorse for the impact of his crimes.

The composite sentence imposed by Judge Lyle was 37 years in prison, 13 years suspended and 10 years probation. Jamison Gallion must serve 24 years in prison.

Given the time Gallion has already served and a one-third reduction for good behavior, Gallion could be released from prison in 2037.

Gallion is expected to pay restitution to the victims from its Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) and is also banned from contacting the victims or being on their property.

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