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URBANA — An Urbana man who admitted setting a fire over a year ago in the apartment building in which he was living has been sentenced to 30 months of probation.

On Monday, Judge Roger Webber also ordered Travis Vandiver, 31, whose last known address was in the 800 block of Kerr Avenue, to spend six months in jail but gave him credit for the just over 13 months he’s already been behind bars.

Vandiver pleaded guilty in June before Webber to arson, admitting that on May 2, 2018, he set a fire in an interior hallway at the Town and Country apartment complex on Kerr Avenue.

At the time of Vandiver’s plea, Assistant State’s Attorney Kristin Alferink agreed to dismiss a more serious charge of aggravated arson, which would have meant a mandatory prison term upon conviction.

On Monday, Alferink recommended that Webber sentence Vandiver to four years in prison, while Vandiver’s attorney, Dan Jackson of Champaign, argued for a sentence of probation.

Vandiver’s mother and brother testified that he had been going to support-group meetings for his misuse of alcohol. He told the judge he was sorry for the pain he had caused.

Webber ordered Vandiver to keep a job, get a substance-abuse evaluation and not use any drugs or alcohol during his probation.

Urbana police said damage from the fire was limited to the carpet and floor in front of the apartment where Vandiver had started the fire and a couple of light fixtures above.

He was reportedly upset with the occupants, who had escorted him from their home because he was drunk and belligerent, police said.


Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).