Probation for Prophets Town Arsonist - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Probation for Prophets Town Arsonist

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As Prophetstown recovers from a devastating fire that claimed a large section of downtown--one of the brothers responsible went before the judge for sentencing.

It was a long hearing where we learned a lot about the now, 17 year old, who pleaded guilty to starting this fire in Prophetstown.  

For one, we learned for the first time, the defendant had already been convicted of arson in 2007 - for starting a fire in a wastebasket at school.

We also learned he was on probation in Wisconsin at the time of the fire last year, for a disorderly conduct incident in 2012.  
It was an emotional court room today.

The mother and the defendant, and his family were crying or holding back tears for some of the hearing today.

The judge heard arguments for about an hour and a half before making what he called a very difficult decision, on whether to send the juvenile to jail, or put him on probation with his mother in Wisconsin, where he has been since the fire.  

The Whiteside County Attorney suggested jail time, saying that given past offenses, juvenile corrections would be a good place for the defendant to receive metal health treatment.  

In the end, the judge gave probation, until the defendant turns 21, but there are several conditions that come with that.
That includes continuing to wear a G-P-S monitor on his ankle, something that he's been doing since he returned to Wisconsin.  
He also can't handle any incendiary devices, like matches an lighters, no matter the situation, at any time during his probation.  

There are several more conditions that he must live by.  

He is due back in court on August 12, 2014.

 At that time, the judge said he may revoke some of the restrictions, if he has exhibited good behavior to his probation officer.  

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