Juvenile arsonist sentenced to one-year probation

On Friday, Nov. 21, Madera County Superior Court Judge James E. Oakley made a ruling in the arson case involving the 15-year-old Yosemite High School student who intentionally started 13 fires in the John West Road and Jean Road East area between July and September 2014.

Judge Oakley, the same judge who sentenced the Yosemite Lake Park arsonists to 30 and 10 years in August, sentenced the juvenile to one-year probation with no fines and no requirement of a monitoring system (GPS). According to reports, if the juvenile remains out of trouble and does not violate the terms of his release his record can be expunged at the age of 18.

The juvenile, who’s name was not revealed due to his age, was released under the supervision of his guardians.

According to reports, total personal monetary damages from the fires was under $2,500, not including fire suppression costs and the cost of managing the fires.

Clyde Lee Swann, a resident in the Jean East Road area, said he was forced to evacuate his home three times leaving him without access to his oxygen tanks which are imperative to receive a healthy nights rest.

“I realize he is just a kid but they should have fined his parents. He should have an ankle monitor that limits him to his house and school and he should only be allowed to go to school and back home,” Swann said.

Three Cal Fire law enforcement officials served a warrant at the juvenile’s home and arrested him in late September.

Fire investigators had installed video cameras on John West Road and Jean Road West during the investigation, and had the boy’s home under surveillance for a number of days prior to his arrest.