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Minors Accused of Setting Tennesse Fires Face Aggravated Arson Charges

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CNN News reports that the two juveniles now being charged with “aggravated arson” for the Tennesse fires that killed 14 people and injured 175 more peopleaffected by the blazes. Prosecutor James Dunn, speaking live at a press conference yesterday, said, “All options available to the state in dealing with juveniles are on the table including the possibility of seeking a transfer of these juveniles to adult criminal court.” [1]

Arson Crimes

Jamie Satterfield for Knoxville News reports that the two minors (ages 17 and 15) charged with aggravated arson by Sevier County Juvenile Court were, “ horsing around with matches, sources say.” [2]

Arson, as defined by the FBI, is “any willful or malicious burning or attempting to burn, with or without intent to defraud, a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another, etc.” [3] According to Findlaw.com, “Arson statutes typically classify arson as a felonydue to the potential to cause injuries or death.” [4]

Aggravated Arson

The minors in Tennesse are facing Aggravated Arsoncharges which typically are filed when, “arson [is] accompanied by some aggravating factor, as when the offender foresees or anticipates that one or more persons will be in or near the property being burned.” [5]

SOURCES

1. Kevin Conlon. December 15, 2016. CNN. “Prosecutor: ‘Everything on the table’ for juveniles charged in deadly fire.” Retrieved via http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/14/us/tennessee-wildfire-charges/index.html .

2. Jamie Satterfield. December 9, 2016. Knoxville News Sentinel. “Sources: Teens toying with matches started Gatlinburg wildfire.” Retrieved via http://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/crime/2016/12/09/sources-teens-toying-matches-started-fatal-wildfire/95210356 /.

3. FBI. Retrieved on December 15, 2016 via https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/property-crime/arson .

4. Findlaw.com “Arson.” Retrieved on December 15, 2016 via http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-charges/arson.html .

5. U.S. Legal. “Aggravated Arson Law and Legal Definition.” Retrieved on December 15, 2016 via https://definitions.uslegal.com/a/aggravated-arson/ .

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