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Prison delayed for former Babbit fire chief convicted of arson

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DULUTH - The former Babbit fire chief, who was found guilty of arson, has been granted a 45-day extension before having to report to prison from the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Monday.

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Ryan Scharber, 30, will report to a facility designated by the Bureau of Prisons on July 14. He’d originally been scheduled to report Monday to an Ohio prison. He requested a prison closer to home and U.S. District Judge John Tunheim granted it.

Scharber entered a guilty plea to two of three charges of arson in November 2013, when he admitted to setting nine grass fires and attempting to set fire to a resort over a 13-month period in 2011 and 2012.

Scharber is a married father of two. He also told the judge he’d sought mental health treatment, saying he suffered from a short-term adjustment disorder. He famously later told the ABC news magazine “20/20” that his crying infant triggered his disorder.

Had he worked in another field, it probably would have manifested in some other way, Scharber said when he was sentenced in April to five years in prison.

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