Fourth Graders Facing Felony Arson Charges for Torching School Shed

Two fourth graders are facing felony charges for arson after torching a shed near a school in St. George Utah.

Arson
Photo by: Bastian

Flammable shop supplies

Fire crews responded to a report of an outbuilding on fire near Pine View Middle School in southern Utah last Tuesday evening. Upon arriving, authorities confirmed that the building on fire was a shed which housed numerous supplies for the nearby shop class. The shed and supplies were a complete loss, nearby windows to the school were blown out from the heat, and the fire was determined to have been arson.

Poor use of time

The two arson suspects, a 9 year old and a 10 year old, were observed on video surveillance and were determined to be the sole participants of the arson. The children were too young to be students of the school and had likely just started the fire for fun or out of boredom. Little did they know, their poor use of free time resulted in thousands of dollars in damage to the school and felony arson charges for them.

Photo by: Dani Vázquez
Photo by: Dani Vázquez

Arson

Utah Code 79-6-102 states “A person is guilty of arson if ( . . . ) by means of fire or explosives, the person unlawfully and intentionally damages (. . . ) the property of another.” The charges for arson can vary from a class B misdemeanor to a first degree felony (aggravated arson), depending on the cost of the damage and if anyone was harmed. Although no one was hurt in the school shed fire, the damage to the shed and supplies exceeded $5,000. For this reason, the two elementary school students in St. George are facing 2nd degree felony charges.

Do you know where your children are?

It is known at this time how long the children were without adult supervision, but it doesn’t take long for them to get into trouble. It is always a wise decision to keep close tabs on kids, especially those not mature enough to be trusted to make good decisions. For those times when youth commit crimes while out of parent’s radar even for a brief moment, a juvenile defense attorney is recommended.

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