Second teen pleads guilty in Utah County church arson case
Teen • Could remain locked up until his 21st birthday.
Published: March 22, 2012 02:17PM
Updated: March 22, 2012 11:57PM

The second of two teenagers blamed for burning down an LDS church in Santaquin has pleaded guilty.

The Utah County Attorney’s Office said Thursday that the 17-year-old was sentenced to a secure juvenile detention facility until the juvenile parole board determines he’s been rehabilitated enough to be released back into the community.

Authorities said it’s possible the teen could remain incarcerated until his 21st birthday, if he’s deemed a safety risk.

If the teen is released, he will be required to report to a parole officer until his 21st birthday, attorneys said. And should he be released before he turns 18½ years old, he must also enter Genesis, a juvenile work camp designed to help defendants meet community service obligations and pay back victims for the damages they’ve caused.

In addition, the teen also was ordered to enter into mediation with the LDS Church to determine restitution.

The teen, and a 16-year-old co-defendant, both have pleaded guilty to setting fire to the church located at 200 East and 100 South in Santaquin, which caused up to $2 million in damage.

Earlier in the month, the 16-year-old pleaded guilty to arson and was sentenced to Genesis for at least 90 days.

Authorities said on Dec. 15, 2011, the pair entered the church through a window and broke into offices looking for money. The two told police they stole $7 from a desk before starting the blaze.

Police have said they found multiple points of origin for the fire.

The Salt Lake Tribune typically does not identify suspects charged in juvenile court.

jstecklein@sltrib.com

Twitter @sltribjanelle