17-year-old sentenced in Fruita church fire
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - The 17-year-old who was found guilty of starting the fire that destroyed the Fruita Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was sentenced on Wednesday to four years and two months to a juvenile detention center.
In the early hours of April 26, 2021, the church in Fruita was set on fire. The Lower Valley District stated the fire was intentionally set, and the church was deemed a total loss.
Then, in June 2021, the Fruita Police Department announced they had made an arrest in the case. The case went to trial on March 16, 2022, where the judge read the verdict, and the teenager was found guilty of arson, criminal mischief, and burglary.
The defense believes the 17-year-old is innocent. They stated the teenager was accompanied by a now 13-year-old responsible for the fire.
According to the Judicial District Attorney Dan Rubinstein, the church will be requesting $5.7 million, and there is a restitution hearing set in June.
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