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Teen sentenced in Williamsport arson

May 23, 2002|BY KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

A Williamsport youth who admitted to setting a trash bag on fire, after which the blaze spread to nearby brush, was sentenced to community detention Wednesday.

The 13-year-old boy was charged with arson after a trash bag was set on fire in the Lakeside trailer park in April, Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Michelle Flores said.

Flores presented Circuit Judge Donald Beachley, who was sitting in juvenile court, with an evaluation of the teenager by a social service agency that recommended home detention.

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"I don't think he's deserving of community detention. He's had some shots and he's screwed them up," she said.

In December, the boy was adjudicated as being delinquent after admitting to his role in vandalizing Williamsport's Byron Park last year.

The teenager has been acting out at home and should be detained for the arson charge, Flores said.

Defense attorney Michael Morrissette told Beachley that the teenager took responsibility for his actions by calling the fire department when he realized the fire was out of control.

"He's not a pyromaniac, he's just a kid showing off," said Beachley.

The teenager's father told Beachley that his son's behavior was inconsistent.

"He can be a really good kid and then sort of go the other way pretty quick," his father said.

Following sentencing the juvenile thanked Beachley for not sending him back to the Alfred D. Noyes Center in Rockville, Md., where he has been for the past 25 days.

"The best way you can thank me is not to come back," said Beachley.

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