Clyde teen faces arson sentence

FREMONT A Clyde teen will be sentenced next week for setting his home on fire while his sister and m
May 24, 2010



A Clyde teen will be sentenced next week for setting his home on fire while his sister and mother slept.

James Rogers, 17, formerly of 129 W. McPherson Highway, was convicted of three felony counts of aggravated arson.

Rogers sprayed his home with lighter fluid and set it on fire Oct. 1, according to Clyde Police Department. Rogers, his sister and their mother escaped the fire after a passerby helped them. The fire completely destroyed the home, leaving the family homeless.

Rogers was later charged with three counts of attempted murder, but those charges were dropped in a plea agreement, said Det. Sgt. Mark Roach, who handled the fire investigation.

Rogers' sentencing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Dec. 4 at Sandusky County Juvenile Court.

Rogers, who is staying at the Sandusky County Juvenile Detention Center, will be tried as a juvenile but could receive a juvenile and/or adult sentence, said Dale Mitchell, director of the Sandusky County Juvenile Detention Center.

Rogers will initially receive a juvenile sentence; however, if he fails to fulfill that sentence, the judge could impose an adult sentence, Mitchell said.

Under the juvenile system, Rogers'sentence could range from one year up to his 21st birthday. The adult sentence carries3-10 years of jail time.

"Our whole intent as a juvenile system is rehabilitation," Mitchell said. "We want tocorrect that behavior and move forward."

Rogers' grandmother Betty Rogers said the fire and her grandson's subsequent arrest have been difficult for the family.

"We're going through a very trying time," Betty Rogers said. "We're pretty heartsick about it all."

Rogers, who had no prior history of serious criminal behavior, is classified as a "serious youthful offender."

The blended sentence he will receive is considered quite rare in Ohio and has happened one other time in the past three years in Sandusky County, Mitchell said.