Columbia Arsonist Sentenced

Posted: Jan 23, 2014 1:13 PM by Eric Stoyanov, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
Updated: Jan 23, 2014 3:40 PM

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COLUMBIA - A man convicted of setting fires at Stephens College and the University of Missouri was sentenced Tuesday to six and a half years, despite prosecutors wanting a longer sentence.

Christopher Kelley started a fire in a classroom at Stephens College in May 2011. In September 2011, Kelley destroyed computers and set multiple fires at Ellis Library at the University of Missouri.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Lynn filed a motion on Jan. 9 to get a longer sentence for Kelley. Prosecutors wanted a minimum sentence of 10 years.

Lynn stated, "The circumstances of these offenses establish that the Defendant is a serial arsonist who committed these crimes simply for the thrill of it."

According to the motion, damages to Ellis Library were estimated between $750,000 and $1,000,000 and cleanup costs were estimated at $531,294. The fire also damaged the Missouri State Historical Society, which is located in Ellis Library. The damage to that area was estimated between $60,000 and $75,000. Damages to the Audrey Web Child Center at Stephens College totaled $54,819.

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