Clyde teen will face sentence for setting house on fire

FREMONT A Clyde teen could face jail time for intentionally setting his home on fire while his mother and sister slept.
JACOB LAMMERS
May 24, 2010

FREMONT

A Clyde teen could face jail time for intentionally setting his home on fire while his mother and sister slept.

James Rogers, 17, formerly of 129 W. McPherson Highway, admitted to one felony count of aggravated arson Oct. 23 in Sandusky County Juvenile Court, Sandusky County Prosecutor Tom Stierwalt said.

Rogers is staying at the Sandusky County Juvenile Detention Center and will return to court for sentencing at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Rogers could receive a juvenile and adult sentence, Stierwalt said. He will initially receive a juvenile sentence, which could range from one year up to his 21st birthday.

The judge could also impose an adult sentence of 3-10 years, which would not go into effect unless Rogers violates his juvenile sentence, Stierwalt said.

The adult sentence also carries a maximum fine of $20,000.

Stierwalt said the blended sentence is quite rare and has only been used one or two times in the seven years he has been prosecutor.

"This is kind of a middle ground and from my view a fair resolution," Stierwalt said. "You can acknowledge that someone made a huge mistake, but they're still a juvenile, and we try to fix that (mistake)."

Rogers, who had no prior history of serious criminal behavior, will be classified as a serious youthful offender, Clyde police Det. Sgt. Mark Roach said for an earlier story.

The fire caused about $60,000 worth of damage and completely destroyed the home, leaving Rogers, his sister and mother homeless.

His mother, Holley Rogers, and his 16-year-old sister did find a temporary home recently, according to his grandmother, Betty Rogers.

"They're holding up," Betty Rogers said.

She declined to comment further.

James Rogers sprayed his home with lighter fluid and set it on fire Oct. 1, according to the Clyde Police Department.

Rogers and his family were rescued by a passerby after the fire got out of control and burned through the first and second floors.