Robious Middle arsonist will pay $2 million plus jail time

Posted at 4:46 PM, Jun 11, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-11 16:48:55-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA (WTVR) – The man accused of breaking into Robious Middle School has been sentenced and he faces jail time and restitution costs.

Robert Altizer, 22, will spend three years behind bars for the vandalism and fire at the school. He faced 60 years in prison. Altizer was sentenced to 15 years with 14 suspended on the burglary charge.

He was also sentenced to 10 years with 8 suspended on the arson charge.

Prosecutors said the amount of damage caused by Altizer’s crime back in July of 2011 totals $2,151,881, although the defense disputed that claim.

Teachers who lost items in the fire were allowed to provide victim impact statements during sentencing.

Altizer was ordered to pay restitution of $307,210 including $57,000 to reimburse the overtime paid to teachers who had to come in to clean up and repair their class rooms.

He was also ordered to pay more than two million back to the insurance company. The total costs he will pay equals $2,377, 512.

Altizer admitted in court that he had taken Xanax and had been drinking at the time of the break-in. He read a letter of apology during sentencing.

Altizer’s attorney, John Rockecharlie claimed that his client had just left a party when he committed his crimes and was under the influence of marijuana, alcohol and Xanax. He also added his client has a history of mental problems.

The vandalism happened at Robious Middle School July 10, 2010 and tips generated by surveillance of the suspect led to Altizer’s arrest.