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Sullivan man pleads guilty to arson, gets prison time
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Sullivan man pleads guilty to arson, gets prison time

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SULLIVAN — A Sullivan man was sentenced to eight years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to setting a garage on fire.

Moultrie County State’s Attorney Tracy Weaver said in a news release that video footage from a neighboring home was used to link Charles Willis Jr. to the fire, which occurred Oct. 20, 2019 in Sullivan.

Weaver said the video showed a white male matching the description of Willis approaching the garage at which time he took an item from his pocket and a glow appeared on the screen, which was believed to be a flame from a lighter.

“Moments later, the glow grows on a mattress that was leaning against the garage. Flames were then clearly seen engulfing the mattress and then the garage.” The garage was destroyed.

Sullivan police observed Willis watching the fire, Weaver said.

Willis, 26, pleaded guilty to arson, a charge that could have brought a 14-year prison sentence.

Willis received credit for 143 days served in the Moultrie County jail. He also will be required to register pursuant to the Illinois Arsonist Registration Act upon his release from prison.


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