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Shawneetown Trail arsonist arrested again

  • Lawrence E. Richards

    Lawrence E. Richards
    RCSO Photo

By Staff Report
updated: 9/7/2017 2:02 PM

Lawrence E. Richards, who was sentenced to probation in July after pleading guilty to one count of arson in a fire at his grandfather's home on Shawneetown Trail west of Steeleville, is back behind bars.

Randolph County Sheriff Shannon Wolff confirmed that Richards was arrested Sept. 2 on allegations of domestic battery, but no further information has been released.

According to county State's Attorney Jeremy Walker, Richards is alleged to have caused bodily harm to a girlfriend in Percy.

"Generally speaking, when someone is on probation at the time of a new offense, we file a petition to revoke probation, which we are absolutely doing in this case," he said.

After his plea in the arson case, the 29-year-old Richards was sentenced to two years of probation, plus substance abuse counseling and job training, and ordered to pay a $25-per-month probation fee and court costs. His case had been previously scheduled for trial on July 12.

Richards is the grandson of Ralph Lohman, a well-known small engine mechanic who passed away in February. Prior to his death, Lohman was renting the house that burned from landowner Jane Boyd, of Sparta.