A man accused of trying to set a garage on fire in 2016 has elected to be tried by a judge rather than a jury.
Felix Sawadogo, 20, Rock Island, is charged with a count of arson and a count of attempted arson, according to Rock Island County court records. The charges are related to two incidents in 2016, one on Jan. 16 and one on Jan. 18.
Authorities allege that, on Jan. 18, Sawadogo knowingly used fire to damage a garage in the 1600 block of 12th Street, Rock Island. He is also accused of taking "a substantial step toward committing the offense of arson" on Jan. 16. He allegedly stuck a burning wad of paper into the same garage.
On Thursday, Sawadogo appeared with his attorney, Christine Boudro, and acknowledged before Rock Island County Judge Frank Fuhr that he wanted a bench trial. In a bench trial, a judge, not a jury, hears the case and decides whether or not a defendant is guilty.
Sawadogo's trial was scheduled for May 7. He was returned to the jail after Thursday's hearing and court records state his bail has been set at $150,000.
In February 2016, Sawadogo was found unfit to stand trial and placed in the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services, court records state. He was deemed to have regained fitness in May 2016, but was placed in state custody for a second time in November 2016.
On Jan. 18, the court ruled Sawadogo was again fit enough to participate in the proceedings against him.