Arson Case Briefs
provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
for more information on this Brief, contact:
ATF, Arson and Explosive Programs Division - (202) 927-7930
605 West Baltimore Street
April 3, 1996
A. IN: 33117-96-0044 H
B. CASE AGENT: Patrick B. Shaw
C. FIELD DIVISION/OFFICE: Chicago/Chicago Arson Group
D. PHONE: 886-5441
Assistant State's Attorney
Will County, Illinois
An arson that resulted in approximately $3 million in damages occurred
on April 3, 1996, at approximately 10:18 p.m. in Willington, Illinois. Eighteen
fire departments responded to the fire scene, where high winds propelled
the blaze though the complex. Two tenants of the building--the City of Willington
garage and a business known as the Tire Barn--were destroyed. Three other
businesses also suffered heavy damage. The fire eventually destroyed a third
of the building, and was classified as arson by an ATF certified fire investigator
and the Illinois State Fire Marshall's Office.
After a substantial investigation and numerous interviews conducted by
the Willington Police Department and ATF, a witness was found who identified
three boys who were seen playing just before the fire in the parking lot
where the used tires were stacked.
An ATF-trained canine was used in this investigation.
Illinois Revised Statutes
Chapter 38, Section 20-1.1.(a)(1) and (2), Aggravated Arson
1. On April 3, 1996, at approximately 10:18 p.m., the Willington Fire
Department received a call of fire at 605 West Baltimore Street, Willington,
Illinois. The fire was classified an arson by ATF CFIs and the Illinois
State Fire Marshall's Office.
2. During the week following the fire, numerous interviews were conducted
that eventually led to the perpetrator.
3. Three juvenile suspects were interviewed, during which, two identified
the third as the person who set fire to tires that were stacked outside
the business known as the Tire Barn. A tape of the third juvenile admitting
to setting the fire was placed into evidence.
4. Based on the admission and interviews, the Will County State's Attorney's
Office authorized the juvenile's arrest for aggravated arson.
I. LEGAL ISSUES AND PROBLEMS:
The only legal issue of concern was if the boy was mentally fit to be
tried in court. On May 3, 1996, he was found fit to stand trial.
J. VERDICT AND SENTENCING:
On June 7, 1996, the defendant was found guilty in Juvenile Domestic
Court in the Circuit Court of Will County, Illinois.
On July 10, 1996, Circuit Court Judge Vincent Cerri sentenced the 13-year-old
boy to the Illinois Department of Corrections, Juvenile Division, to an
undetermined period of time or to age 21.