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Gavel

A federal judge on Monday sentenced a man to nearly four years in prison for his conviction related to a September fire in the Albany County GOP headquarters.

Kellen Michael Sorber earlier this year pleaded guilty to a single count of using fire to commit a felony. Attorneys agreed, as part of a plea deal, to recommend Sorber serve 44 months imprisonment.

Judge Scott Skavdahl on Monday imposed the agreed-upon sentence. He ordered Sorber pay $6,200 in restitution. Once Sorber is released from prison, he will remain under supervision for three years.

The judge recommended Sorber be incarcerated at either a prison in Oxford, Wisconsin, or Sandstone, Minnesota. He also recommended Sorber be allowed to participate in educational programs available in prison.

According to court documents, Skavdahl warned Timothy Garrett Sorber not to speak in the courtroom. He booed after the judge handed down the sentence, and Skavdahl found him in contempt of court. U.S. Marshalls took him into custody, and the judge ordered him released by 4:30 p.m., according to the documents.

Court documents do not indicate if the two Sorber men are related.

No one was injured in the Sept. 6 fire at the GOP headquarters in Laramie. Firefighters extinguished the small blaze.

According to court documents filed by prosecutors last year, police at the scene found a broken window and, inside the building, a partially-smoked Camel Crush cigarette, a burnt camping chair and a burnt soda box. When federal authorities were called to the scene, they found DNA on the cigarette butt that they say is consistent with Kellen Sorber’s, the documents state.

Authorities also found DNA on two pieces of cinder block found inside the building. That DNA was also consistent with Sober’s, according to the court documents.

Surveillance video footage from a nearby business shows a person whom a Laramie police detective described as physically similar to Sorber. Data from a nearby cell phone tower shows Sorber’s phone was in the area shortly after 3:30 a.m. on Sept. 6, near the time the fire is thought to have been set.

A Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms investigator said the fire was intentionally ignited.

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Crime and Courts Reporter

Shane Sanderson is a Star-Tribune reporter who primarily covers criminal justice. Sanderson is a proud University of Missouri graduate. Lately, he’s been reading Cormac McCarthy and cooking Italian food. He writes about his own life in his free time.

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