Teenage arsonist leaves town after court hearing

A 15-year-old boy convicted in November for starting 13 fires in the Oakhurst area last year has left town with his family, Madera County District Attorney David Linn said last week.

In a hearing to determine the teenage arsonist’s penal status Friday morning, after he was charged with taking pictures of the Willow Fire in violation of court orders, Linn said the boy and his family left to take up new residence in Southern California, far from the Eastern Madera County mountains.

“His punishments have all been extended,” Linn said, including a year-and-a-half of probation and psychological counseling. “We will be checking on his progress but as long as there are no problems, then we’re done with him. We have some review dates but I doubt he will ever come back ... he is gone from the neighborhood.”

The boy will also be put under house arrest and electronic monitoring if he ever returns to Madera County, Linn said, and the county of the boy’s residence may include those punishments once officials review the case.

Both Madera County and the county where the boy’s family lives will continue review on the teenager’s progress in complying with court orders.