- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A judge on Wednesday ordered a 14-year-old girl to serve 400 hours of community service for causing one of the worst wildfires in San Diego County last year.

The girl was sentenced in juvenile court. Her name was not being published because she is a minor.

She was found guilty of multiple felony counts of arson and one misdemeanor count of unlawfully allowing a fire to escape control.

Prosecutors argued during the two-week trial in March that the girl ignited branches in her backyard amid a spate of other wildfires in the county and laughed about it when she told her sister.

Investigators said an ember traveled nearly a half-mile and ignited a fire that destroyed more than three dozen homes and burned nearly 2,000 acres in what was called the Cocos Fire.

The girl told investigators she “didn’t want to kill anybody” - only to “see what would happen” when she set the first of two fires in her backyard, according to an audio tape played during her trial.

It’s not known if the girl’s parents could be held liable for damages that totaled about $12 million. A restitution hearing will be held at a later date.



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