Second Defendant Pleads Guilty to Arson in 2020 Beecher Street Fire

By Jeremy Coumbes on October 5, 2022 at 10:43am

A second suspect has pleaded guilty to setting a house on fire in the summer of 2020. 33-year-old Issac S. Ballard-Crain of the 200 block of East Beecher Street plead guilty to a class 2 felony charge of arson in Morgan County Court Tuesday.

Ballard-Crain was arrested along with 23-year-old Brandon N. Koch on August 14th, 2020, for aggravated arson for setting fire to a two-story home located at 205 East Beecher Avenue across the street from Salem Lutheran School earlier that month.

Severe damage was done to the home’s southeast corner while a person was home at the time of the fire. No injuries were reported.

Ballard-Crain was sentenced yesterday to serve 180 days of periodic imprisonment in the Morgan County Jail, with credit for 47 days served. He will be allowed to attend work and then is required to immediately report back to the jail upon completion of his shift.

Ballard-Crain was also sentenced to four years probation and ordered to pay a $3,000.00 fine plus fees and court costs, as well as $1,000 in restitution to the property owner.

In November of 2020, Brandon Koch pleaded guilty to a charge of arson and was also sentenced to 180 days in jail and four years probation with credit for 93 days served. In January Koch was ordered to also pay $1,000 in restitution.

The class X felony charges of aggravated arson for setting fire to a structure at a time when they knew or should have known that one or more people were present were dismissed in both cases per the pleas.