Woman sentenced to prison for arson

By Sam Wildow

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TROY — A Troy woman was recently sentenced to spend a minimum of four years in prison — up to a maximum of six years — for arson.

Shannon M. Melke, 43, was sentenced this week in Miami County Common Pleas Court for second-degree felony aggravated arson, and she will serve at least four years in the Ohio Reformatory for Women. Melke will also have to register as an arson offender, which is a lifetime registration.

According to previous court records, Melke was charged in connection with a fire that took place on March 15 on the 1300 block of Imperial Court. Troy firefighters and police responded to a report of smoke coming out of an air conditioning unit at a residence. Melke was accused of knowingly starting the fire. Melke later pleaded guilty to the charge on April 7.

According to Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Stacy Wall’s entry regarding Melke’s sentencing, Melke intentially set fire to the victim’s apartment, who is 72 years old and related to Melke. The victim was displaced from housing for a month following the fire.

Court records state that Melke claimed the incident was an “accident,” but the court found that the fire was “an intentional act.” Melke reportedly “produced a butane torch hidden on her person and had deadlocked the door when she left,” setting fire to a mattress. The court also found that Melke “showed no genuine remorse as her only concern was retrieving money” she had given to the victim.

The court stated Melke had a minimal criminal record, but found “the circumstances would be likely to reoccur due to the relationship” between Melke and the victim.

Once she is released from prison, Melke will have to undergo at least 18 months of post release control. Melke received a jail credit of 55 days.