YORKVILLE, Ill. — A Plainfield man was convicted on two counts of arson for starting two fires at a Yorkville residence in 2007, the Kendall County State’s Attorney announced Tuesday.
Keenan W. Slagel, 29, of Plainfield, pleaded guilty on both counts and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Slagel had set two separate fires to a residence on Winding Creek Drive in unincorporated Yorkville that he believed was his ex-girlfriend’s, but which had been sold to another family and was being prepared for the new occupants.
The first fire, in March of 2007, was extinguished quickly when a fish tank burst, suppressing the flames and causing damage to the floor and smoke damage throughout the house, according to a press releaes.
The second, that April, caused a total loss on the home, which was unoccupied at in the process of being repainted and repaired from the previous fire. An investigation determined it was an arson.
The case went unsolved until 2012, when a tipster told investigators that Slagel had admitted to setting the fires.
Slagel admitted to setting the fires during an interview with investigators, and he was charged with the two counts of arson, a Class 2 felony.
State’s Attorney Eric Weis applauded investigators, the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office and the Illinois State Fire Marshall’s Office.
“Even though an investigation could take years to come to a successful conclusion, Kendall County law enforcement and the State’s Attorney’s Office remain dedicated to bring those responsible for their criminal acts to justice,” Weis said in a press release. “No matter how long it takes.”
Slagel was sentenced to five and a half years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for the first arson and a concurrent five-year term for the second arson. He will also serve two years of Mandatory Supervised Release and will need to pay almost $40,000 in restitution to the victim for damages.
A third fire at the residence that occurred during the reconstruction after the second fire remains open, according to the press release.
Residential arson is not included in the list of offenses that qualify for an extended statute of limitations, Weis said.
As such, instead of a maximum sentence of 15 years, Slagel only faced a seven-year maximum.
He said he has worked with State Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego) to include such crimes in the extended statute of limitations as a result of the case.
Cross has introduced legislation that would add arson to the list.