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Teen pleads guilty to setting house on fire

Associated Press • Jun 3, 2014 at 6:20 PM

The teen pleaded guilty to attempted murder and arson charges in the October fire in Liberty Township, a northern Cincinnati suburb. His trial had been scheduled to start Monday. 

Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Craig Hedric tentatively set sentencing for Wednesday, after he hears testimony in a planned mitigation hearing. The teen’s attorney, Brad Kraemer, had maintained his client’s real intention was to prevent his parents from stopping him from harming himself and that his action was a cry for help. He had filed a plea earlier of not guilty by reason of insanity.

However, Hedric ruled the teen was competent to stand trial. Authorities said the boy, then 16, was angry because his parents took away his laptop.

He allegedly tied the doors of their separate bedrooms with rope, then used gasoline and set fires outside their rooms. His parents escaped with minor injuries.

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