- Associated Press - Thursday, September 18, 2014

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan teenager admitted to setting a fire in her house while her parents were sleeping because she didn’t want to get engaged in an arranged marriage.

The 17-year-old from Albania pleaded guilty in Ingham County court Wednesday to second-degree arson, the Lansing State Journal (https://on.lsj.com/1wpUNQT ) reported. She told the judge she was “overwhelmed” by the engagement to a man in Albania. She faces a maximum of three years of probation as part of a plea agreement. The felony charge usually carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

If the teen successfully completes her sentence, her criminal record will no longer be public. But if she violates her probation, she could be sent to a prison for young offenders.

The fire in May damaged the girl’s house in Holt. No injuries were reported. She said she didn’t believe her parents’ lives were in danger when she poured and lit gasoline.

“Fires get out of control,” Judge Rosemarie Aquilina told the teen. “What you did with gasoline could have caused not only just your own home to burn, but the neighborhood to burn.”

The girl’s relationship with her parents has improved, she said, and she’s no longer engaged.

She is set to return to court for sentencing at the end of November.

The Associated Press generally does not identify juveniles accused of crimes.


Information from: Lansing State Journal, https://www.lansingstatejournal.com

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