Brickner gets 20 years probation

FAIRMONT – A man who set fire to the curtains at Lincoln School in April 2012 has been sentenced to up to 20 years probation.

Timothy Jude Brickner, 21, reached a plea agreement last month in three separate cases against him. He was sentenced Tuesday in Martin County District Court.

The guilty pleas were entered with a stay of adjudication, meaning that once probation is complete, Brickner will only have misdemeanor charges on his record. Before the plea agreement, Brickner was facing four years in prison.

Brickner was charged in a 2011 misdemeanor case of falsely reporting a crime, for creating a fake Facebook page to start rumors that included a murdered hitchhiker.

The most serious charge against Brickner was first-degree arson, for setting fire to a set of stage curtains at Lincoln School on April 27, 2012. The incident triggered an evacuation of the entire building, including a daycare facility and the Alternative Learning Center, where Brickner attended school at the time.

Brickner also was charged in the fall of 2012 with terroristic threats, for making threats on his Facebook page against a Fairmont police officer who was investigating the arson case.

In the arson case, Brickner was given up to 20 years probation. According to prosecutor Peter Odgren, exactly how long Brickner will be on probation will be determined by how well he follows conditions.

Brickner will be on probation for at least five years for the terroristic threats charge.

The probations will run concurrently, with several of the same conditions, including no new violations; orders to undergo a chemical dependency assessment and psychological evaluation; and a requirement to follow recommendations and treatments of the evaluations.

Brickner also cannot be on Fairmont Area Schools property, and is not to have contact with the officer he threatened or members of the officer’s family. Brickner also has been ordered not to be on any social media for one year.

Brickner still has an open felony case for criminal damage to property while he in the Martin County Jail. According to Odgren, the charge will not affect Brickner’s probation conditions.

“The incident occurred before the plea was reached, so it won’t be taken into consideration,” Odgren explained.

Brickner’s next hearing is Feb. 10.