A Piqua man who suffered burns when his car caught fire while he was making methamphetamine near a Miami County park was sentenced Monday to a mandatory three years in prison after telling a judge the August incident was his "first and last attempt" to make the drug.
Tommy D. Skaggs, 21, pleaded guilty in March to illegal cultivation of drugs and illegal assembly of chemicals involving a mobile methamphetamine lab.
Skaggs was charged following an Aug. 5 fire in his car near Garbry Big Woods Reserve near Piqua.
Sheriff's deputies said at the time they suspected Skaggs had been manufacturing methamphetamine in the car when a bottle exploded, starting a fire. A search of the vehicle turned up a number of materials that would be associated with making the methamphetamine, deputies said.
"Despite being high and struggling with addiction, I am guilty of attempting to make meth. It was my first and last attempt," Skaggs told Judge Stacy Wall in county Common Pleas Court. "This tragedy of having my life flash before my eyes has made me a different person."
Wall told Skaggs he was fortunate to have love and support of family and friends behind him and that efforts to address addiction and mental health issues would pay off.
"It is going to be extremely difficult the next few years but you are on the right track," Wall said. She sentenced him to three years in prison and ordered him to pay $150 restitution.
Skaggs could have received up to eight years in prison.
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