A Carpentersville, Illinois resident has been sentenced to eight years in prison or setting more than a dozen fires in the city. James E. Henry Junior, aged 31, was arrested for setting late-night fires that damaged or destroyed five vehicles and 21 garbage containers during a six-week period in late 2006. After setting the fires, he would watch from nearby as emergency crews extinguished them. He was convicted last November of four felony counts of arson and three counts of criminal damage to property.
While no injuries were reported to date, the prosecution raised concerns that Henry would progress to more serious fires with potential loss of life.
Following his arrest, he reportedly told doctors of his fear that "mental illness" would eventually lead to his setting a house fire. Because of his prior felony convictions for arson and burglary, he faced a potential 30-year sentence but Judge Timothy Sheldon chose to sentence Henry to eight years instead. The term is to be spent in a correctional institution where he may receive treatment for his pyromania. He is also required to pay nearly $14,000 dollars in compensation for the property damage.