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Arsonist sentenced to 15 years

Staff Report
Posted on 3/19/2015, 4:45 PM

A Harrisburg man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for residential arson.

Austin Neal Carter, 21, pled guilty and was sentenced on March 11 by Judge Walden E. Morris. In addition to the 15 years’ incarceration in Illinois Department of Corrections, Carter was sentenced to two years mandatory supervised release and a fine of $25,000, according to a release from Saline County State’s Attorney Mike Henshaw’s office.

The sentence is the maximum for the Class 1 Felony that is punishable by four to 15 years in DOC.

The Illinois State Fire Marshal, Harrisburg Fire Department and Saline County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.

Harrisburg firefighters responded to a fire Feb. 9 at 2505 Ledford Road, Harrisburg, determining the fire began in the kitchen of the home. Investigators learned Carter had placed a pan filled with grease on the stove top burner and ignited the burner before leaving. The pan ignited and the fire quickly spread throughout the home. The home was owned and occupied by Mary Byers and was a total loss.

Carter was arrested 5:55 p.m. that day following a pursuit. He was arrested on charges of parole violation, driving while license suspended, criminal damage to property, reckless driving, domestic battery, aggravated vehicle hijacking and unlawful possession of a converted vehicle.

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