Ex-attorney going back to prison for '07 arson - abc27 WHTM

Dauphin County

Ex-attorney going back to prison for '07 arson

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William Trickett Smith Sr. William Trickett Smith Sr.
Smith is interviewed by abc27 News following the May 16 fire in Paxtang. Smith is interviewed by abc27 News following the May 16 fire in Paxtang.

A former Dauphin County attorney has been sentenced to two-and-a-half to five years in prison for setting fire to a guest house at his Paxtang home five years ago.

William Trickett Smith Sr., 75, received the sentence after pleading guilty to three counts of arson and one count each of insurance fraud and tampering with evidence, according to First Assistant District Attorney Fran Chardo.

Trickett will report to prison November 27.

According to court documents in the case, Trickett was facing disbarment and a state investigation when he set fire to the guest house on May 16, 2007.

Smith had received a resignation statement from the Pennsylvania Bar Association eight days before the fire, was being investigated by the state attorney general's office for taking funds from some of his clients estates, and had received notice that his insurance on the property was being canceled, documents state.

Smith had told abc27 News that he found the words "pay is a b---h" spray painted on the guest house after the fire, which was started during the early morning hours after a primary election. He claimed to believe the fire was set because he had helped to get a candidate for Dauphin County commissioner on the ballot by taking the case to the state Supreme Court.

Smith previously served prison time in connection with the scandal tied to the 1987 suicide of state treasurer Budd Dwyer. Two years ago, he was featured in a documentary where he admitted to lying under oath when he accused Dwyer of accepting a bribe. Dwyer shot himself just before he we was to be sentenced.

Most recently, he served federal prison time for embezzling from one of his clients.

His son, William Trickett Smith Jr., is serving a 35-year prison sentence in Peru, where he pleaded guilty to killing his wife and dumping her body at sea inside a suitcase.

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