The Tuolumne County Superior Court will decide this week if a teenager accused of arson in the November fire at Sonora Elementary School that destroyed several classrooms will be tried as a juvenile or adult.
Sonora Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Molly Lininger instructs her class in a new portable Tuesday afternoon. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2013.
Tuolumne County Chief Probation Officer Adele Arnold confirmed the Probation Department filed a “fitness report” Friday on the former student’s fitness for the juvenile justice system.
The court hearing to review it is scheduled this week, but she wouldn’t specify when.
The case has proceeded confidentially so far due to the suspect’s age, 17.
He was arrested Nov. 27, four days after the Saturday night fire, based on interviews, according to the Sonora Police Department.
Fire investigators determined the cause to be arson, and school officials have said it began in a trash can directly outside a classroom window. The fire went on to burn or damage 15 classrooms.
The District Attorney’s Office on Dec. 3 said it considers the teen unfit for the juvenile system and that he should be tried as an adult.
The DA’s Office will prosecute him as an adult if the court makes the same finding this week.
For the full story see today's Union Democrat.