Crime Spree Results in 103 Year Sentence For Hurley Arsonist

Michael Jamie Stiltner, 39, of Hurley, Virginia was sentenced to a 103 year sentence by the Buchanan County Circuit Court last week as a result of a crime spree which began last spring.  Ultimately, the court suspended 89 years of the sentence on the condition that Stiltner serve an active 14 year prison sentence and complete 10 years of active supervised probation.

In early 2017, Investigators with the Buchanan County Sherriff’s Department, along with an arson specialist with the Virginia State Police, began investigating a series of burglaries and thefts that ultimately resulted in the arson of an unoccupied home in the Hurley area. 

While being held without bond on an unrelated charge, Stiltner opted to meet with prosecutors and law enforcement to “cooperate” with their investigation.  During this meeting, Stiltner gave a statement that resulted in additional charges against Stiltner and implicated multiple co-defendants.  However, prior to the completion of the prosecution, Stiltner recanted a portion of his statement, which resulted in some of the charges brought against his co-defendants to be non-prosecutable. 

When asked for comment, Buchanan County Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald Arrington stated, “I’m extremely pleased with the outcome of this case.  Most folks don’t realize how difficult it is to obtain an active sentence for larceny-type offenses using the Virginia Sentencing Guidelines.  The fact that this crime spree escalated further into multiple breaking and entering charges and arson more than warrants the 14 year active sentence handed down to Stiltner.”

During the course of the investigation, Investigators discovered that Stiltner had targeted an unoccupied home in the Hurley area to break into and steal items belonging to its resident, who had recently moved into an assisted living facility close to her daughter.  These items included approximately 15 firearms, different pieces of sports memorabilia, and other collectables.  At some point during the looting of the home, Stiltner set fire to the house hoping to destroying any evidence of his crimes left behind.

Arrington stated, “While any larceny is offensive, the larceny of firearms by an already convicted felon is particularly concerning. When I took this office, I promised the citizens of Buchanan County a safer place to live.  We all can feel more safe knowing that a person such as Stiltner will be off of our streets for the next 14 years, and will be forced to live under a microscope for an additional 10 years while he completes supervised probation with the threat of 83 years hanging over his head. In closing, I would like to thank the Buchanan County Sherriff’s Office, the Virginia State Police, and the 29th Judicial Narcotics Task Force for their assistance in this matter.”

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