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Lewiston man who torched three cars is imprisoned

LOCKPORT – A man who was drunk when he set fire to three parked vehicles in North Tonawanda was sentenced to a stint in the state prison system’s secure substance abuse facility Thursday by Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III.

“The origin of your problem is alcohol abuse,” Murphy told David E. Spencer, 27, of Model City Road, Lewiston, who had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted third-degree arson.

Spencer used a cigarette lighter to ignite the right rear wheel well of the first vehicle on Sandra Lane in North Tonawanda July 22, 2012, and the fire spread to the other two autos.

Murphy ordered Spencer to pay restitution of $1,935 to the car owners within one year of his release from prison. The treatment program usually results in parole in about 90 days. If he washes out of the program he must serve two to four years in a regular cell.