Rapid City man racks up over $100k in arson damages, gives guilty plea

Pictured: Raymond Andrzejewski, 68
Pictured: Raymond Andrzejewski, 68(Pennington County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 12:46 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A Rapid City man who torched structures and caused tens of thousands of dollars in damages formally entered a plea agreement.

On Thursday, 69-year-old Raymond Andrzejewski pleaded guilty but mentally ill in Seventh Circuit Court to one count of first-degree arson, a Class 2 felony, and one count of second-degree arson for starting fires near the West Boulevard neighborhood between December 2020 and January 2021.

PREVIOUS REPORTING: Not guilty plea in series of fires

The state dropped two counts of second-degree arson in exchange for his guilty plea.

A probable cause affidavit drafted prior to his conviction states he had previously admitted his involvement to police officers.

A competency evaluation performed by a local doctor found the man suffered from mental illness. The report states the defendant was abusing opioids he originally used for pain management at the time, and that his addiction contributed to the incidents.

Andrzejewski lived at West Park Apartments, one of the residences affected by the fires, at the time of the arson.

Presiding Circuit Judge Craig Pfeifle said Andrzejewski is slated to pay at least $100,000 in restitution to multiple victims impacted by the arson. The convicted arsonist additionally faces cumulative criminal penalties of $70,000 in fines and up to 35 years in jail, though the state is asking for a 10-year cap to his prison sentence as part of the plea offer.

Andrzejewski’s sentencing date is set for March 11.

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