- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Jail time isn’t likely if convictions are handed down for the four boys charged with setting a fire that destroyed a historic Oregon ballpark.

Police say the kids were playing with fire when the flames got out of control. They fled and police were tipped off July 1 by the family of a boy who left before the fire started, the Eugene Register-Guard reported (https://bit.ly/1f1lUi0).

An arson conviction won’t mean youth prison for the 10-year-old boy who’s been charged.

The three 12-year-olds are under the jurisdiction of the Oregon Youth Authority. Agency spokesman Jason Davis says juvenile offenders younger than 15 years old are a very small percentage of children incarcerated in state-run facilities.

A court order is keeping the names of the boys and their parents from being released. Davis says releasing that information could impact the ongoing investigation.

Youth Authority spokeswoman Ann Snyder says probation is likely if the judge in the case establishes jurisdiction, which would essentially mean a guilty verdict had crime been committed by adults.

Eugene defense attorney Adam Shelton says youth court is geared more toward rehabilitating offenders.

“It’s hard to tell what will happen in this case,” Shelton said.

The case is scheduled for a fact-finding hearing Sept. 1 in juvenile court.

Eugene attorney Derek Johnson helped start the Eugene Civic Alliance, a nonprofit group that recently bought the stadium.

Johnson couldn’t be reached for comment, but has said the alliance had insured the grandstand for $3 million.


Information from: The Register-Guard, https://www.registerguard.com

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