STERLING, Ill. — A judge has ordered two half-brothers to start paying $2,350 in restitution for setting a fire that destroyed eight buildings in downtown Prophetstown.

The boys are now ages 13 and 17. Whiteside County Judge Bill McNeal ruled Tuesday that they will start payments in October. The 13-year-old will pay $10 a month and the 17-year-old will play $25. The money will go to property owners.

The boys are next due in court June 9, 2015. They pleaded guilty to juvenile counts of arson, saying they used a lighter to set a trash bin on fire last year. Both boys are serving five years of probation and community service.

Prophetstown Mayor Steve Swanson estimates damages at $2 million to $3 million.

The judge told the boys to "stay out of trouble."

(3) comments

Tyler Guth

It will take less than seven years, klat, but I agree that this is generally stupid.

Wags a lot

I wondered the same thing. Restitution is only effective if it has meaning to the person ordered to pay. I bet one of the parents gives the little one a ten every month. Hopefully the kids are earning and turning over the money.

Klaatu
Klaatu

Now, that's silly. How long does that go on? It would take forever to pay it all back. Does it stop when they are 21?

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