A Roodhouse man has been sentenced to prison for burning a house down in Scott County late last year.
Thirty-eight-year-old Jeremy Cox was ordered to serve four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections in exchange for pleading guilty to residential arson charges in Scott County Court yesterday.
Cox was charged in January with residential arson after allegedly setting fire to the residence of Charles Savage on Alsey-Glasgow Road on December 28th, 2014. He was initially charged with residential burglary and theft, but Scott County State’s Attorney Michael Hill says those charges were dropped.
“The residential arson charge is one of the most difficult charges to prosecute from the aspect that most of your evidence is consumed in an arson. That’s why arsons don’t have any statute of limitations,” he explains.
“In this case, Mr. Cox had admitted to another person that he had done this, so that helped put the writing on the wall, so to speak. That made the prosecution a little bit easier than your normal arson case.”
Hill says there was a dating relationship between Cox and one of the fire victims.
“I think it’s an example of justice being done in a community. This is a severe crime, it’s a Class 1 felony; mandatory prison time on a case like this was what I was seeking. Anything short of that would have been an injustice to the community,” states Hill.
“Mr. Cox committed his crime, but to his credit, he admitted it and accepted the sentence he was going to get. I think the victims are fairly happy with the outcome as well.”
Cox was also ordered to pay fines and costs and to pay $1,574.25 in restitution to the Winchester Fire Department.