Nappanee man sentenced to 96 years after pleading guilty to string of barn fires

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It’s a 96 year sentence for a Nappanee man who pleaded guilty to a string of barn fires in Elkhart County, but Joseph Hershberger likely won’t spend that entire time behind bars.

Fifty years will be spent in prison. The other 46 years are suspended while he’s on parole.

Hershberger’s girlfriend, Sherry Thomas, was also accused in connection with the fires that happened last year.

Hershberger told police that he started multiple barn fires and said he and Thomas would take turns pouring the gasoline and setting the barns ablaze.

Thomas said Hershberger tried to convince her 11-year-old son to start one of the fires.

Hershberger also faces multiple felony counts in Kosciusko and Marshall Counties.

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