Rapid City arsonist sentenced to 10 years in prison

Pictured: Raymond Andrzejewski, 68
Pictured: Raymond Andrzejewski, 69(Pennington County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Mar. 11, 2022 at 3:37 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - 69-year old Raymond Andrezejewski, who pleaded guilty but mentally ill to a string of arson fires in December 2020 and January 2021, is sentenced Friday.

Deborah Mitchell, a victim of one of the crimes, spoke about how devastating the fire was to her.

Andrezejewski apologized to her in the court room saying that he’s sorry and thanks God he didn’t hurt anybody.

The defense asked for a provisional sentence, which would put Andrezejewski at the state Human Services Center instead of prison to treat his mental illness.

Stephen Manlove, the Psychiatrist who examined Andrezejewski, diagnosed him to have alcohol and drug dependency. As well as severe depression.

Andrezejewski’s defense says that could be due to him being sexually abused as a child and the death of his son.

Prosecution argued against the provisional sentence, saying that the crimes he committed against innocent individuals deserve consequences. Adding that the services necessary to treat his mental illness could also be provided in prison.

Craig Pfeifle, Seventh Circuit Judge, ultimately sentenced Andrezejewski to 10 years in prison and more than 50-thousand dollars in restitution.

He says although mental illness may have contributed to his actions, it does not excuse it.

Mitchell says she hopes he thinks about those actions every day for the rest of his life.

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