An Eden man has pleaded guilty to his role in a fire that destroyed a Hamburg family’s home in 2017.
Nicholas Harms pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted burglary according to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.
Harms took the plea only hours before jury selection was set to begin for the case.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said Harms was drunk the night of the fire and likely started the flames at the Rosedale Avenue home in August 2017.
Authorities have said most of the evidence was destroyed in the fire, which made an arson charge and conviction difficult.
Deputies found credit cards and other items belonging to the family in Harms’ pockets when he was arrested that night.
“While they were questioning him in the back of the police car, he was pulling stuff out of his pocket- a credit card, a key ring, a GPS device, a cord, just little knick-knacks that weren’t his,” Flynn said. “Today, he pled guilty to taking those items from the home.”
Harms is set to be sentenced on Nov. 21. Flynn says prosecutors will argue for Harms to spend as much time in prison as possible. He faces up to seven years in prison.