“Financial woes and English’s struggle to provide for his wife, who is disabled, led to the incident”
HAMILTON — A Middletown man who attempted to blow up his Queen Avenue home in July, causing the evacuation of his neighborhood in the process, is going to prison.
Ivan Ray English, 49, apologized Wednesday for the disruption he caused the city last summer.
Neighbors first reported a strong smell of natural gas coming from 2218 Queen Ave. on July 16.
Police and firefighters found the doors of the house locked, candles burning, the television on, and the home’s furnace tampered with.
“I would like to apologize to Middletown,” said English, who pleaded guilty in October to charges of arson and inducing panic.
Defense attorney Edwin Vardiman Jr. told Butler County Common Pleas Judge Michael Sage on Wednesday that financial woes and English’s struggle to provide for his wife, who is disabled, led to the incident.
Vardiman said English has mental health issues, but is addressing them, and would work to get his GED if he remained out of prison and on community control.
If English was sent to prison, his life would be “a wash,” the defense attorney said.
Vardiman said English’s home is now in foreclosure and he has lost his job due to the arrest, but he believes English could find a job if he avoids incarceration.