Boys charged in Prophetstown fire in court

2013-07-30T13:37:00Z 2013-07-30T20:34:37Z Boys charged in Prophetstown fire in courtTara Becker tbecker@qctimes.com The Quad-City Times
July 30, 2013 1:37 pm  • 

STERLING, Ill. — A Whiteside County prosecutor said Tuesday that she may file an amended complaint against two half brothers accused of setting fire to the business district in Prophetstown, Ill., earlier this month.

Assistant State's Attorney Carol Linkowski said during a brief hearing that she still is waiting on investigative reports from police agencies.

She did not say when those reports may be available.

The boys, 12 and 16, appeared Tuesday at the Sterling courthouse on charges of residential arson, arson and criminal damage to property exceeding $100,000.

Tuesday’s hearing served as a first appearance for the younger boy, who lives in New York, and a pretrial conference for the older boy, who lives in Wisconsin.

The boys will be back in court at 11 a.m. Aug. 20 for a pretrial conference.

The Quad-City Times is not naming the boys or the families because they are charged as juveniles.

Police and prosecutors say the boys, who were living with their father in Prophetstown for the summer, snuck out the house early on July 15 and set fire to a plastic residential recycling bin behind Cindy Jean's Restaurant, 324 Washington St.

The fire quickly spread and ultimately destroyed eight buildings and displaced several residents who lived in apartments above several buildings.

No one was hurt in the blaze. The boys were arrested a day later after a family member reported them to police.

At Tuesday's hearing, the boys both wore short-sleeve, plaid button-down shirts, the younger one in red and the older one in blue, and kept their hands clasped in front of them on the defense tables.

The younger boy occasionally looked over papers that were in front of his attorney, Colleen Buckwalter.

He was released to his father July 17 and will remain on home detention until the case is resolved.

Whiteside County Associate Judge Bill McNeal said that because of the boy's age, the maximum penalty he could receive if convicted is probation and/or up to 30 days in a temporary juvenile detention center.

A juvenile offender can be sentenced to a juvenile correctional center if they are at least 13 and could remain in custody until they turn 21.

The 16-year-old was released to his paternal grandfather, who also lives in Prophetstown, on July 23 and was placed on electronic home monitoring.

He is represented by Sterling attorney Mark Holldorf.

Copyright 2015 The Quad-City Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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