News Flash Home
The original item was published from 9/21/2015 11:15:00 AM to 10/31/2015 5:10:02 PM.

News Flash

District Attorney

Posted on: September 21, 2015

[ARCHIVED] Ephrata Man Jailed up to 20 Years for Burning Down his Family’s Home

Joshua A. Witman

An Ephrata Township man will serve up to 20 years in prison for burning down his family’s home last year.

A Lancaster County Judge ordered Monday that 34-year-old Joshua A. Witman spend 5 to 20 years in state prison for setting fire to the home at 209 East Mohler Church Road on June 15, 2014.

Witman, who lived at the home with his mother, also was ordered to pay $91,000 in restitution for costs to rebuild the home.

Witman told Ephrata police there were “aliens” living in walls of the home and a “portal” for demons in the basement, where he ignited a box of wood.

First Assistant District Attorney Christopher Larsen said Witman endangered the lives of every firefighter that worked to extinguish the large blaze.

Witman has a history of heroin abuse and a criminal record that dates to 1999, according to Larsen.

Witman was seen riding a bicycle away from the home, minutes before neighbors saw smoke billowing from it.

Judge Donald Totaro, who convicted Witman at a June trial, ordered the sentence.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041;

Facebook Twitter Email