Legal Issue Spurs New Plea in Bowling Alley Arson

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Vineland Police
    Steven H. Smink, 47, Philadelphia, pled guilty to arson charges.

    The former owner of a southern New Jersey bowling alley who orchestrated an arson fire that destroyed a rival alley has entered a revised guilty plea.

    Steven Smink of Philadelphia had pleaded guilty earlier this month to a first-degree charge of arson for hire, just days before he was to stand trial on charges stemming from the fire that destroyed Loyle Lanes in Vineland.

    But Cumberland County prosecutors had to vacate that plea deal after realizing the 12-year sentence it called for was not subject to a state law that requires defendants serve at least 85 percent of their term before becoming eligible for parole. They said Smink could have been eligible for release after serving just three years.

    Prosecutors reworked the deal and Smink pleaded guilty Friday.

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