Illinois Residential and Aggravated Arson and Battery
An Illinois man is being charged with arson and battery, in addition to other crimes, after allegedly attacking his brother’s fiancé. The 36-year-old defendant allegedly beat the 32-year-old female victim with a hammer before pouring gasoline on her in the town of Joliet. She was rescued by good samaritans before the man took any further actions, allegedly, as reported by People Magazine. According to one of the passersby who intervened in the struggle, “She was covered head to toe in blood and was burnt.” The woman screamed, “He tried to kill me! He hit me with a hammer! He tried to light me on fire!” The house was set on fire as well, and the man was found by police standing in the driveway with bloody hands; the hammer and lighter fluid were found at the scene as well. The man is facing seven separate counts, which include aggravated battery, residential arson, and aggravated arson. His bond was set at $2 million.
Residential arson, as defined by Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/20-1, occurs when a person knowingly damages any real or personal property of another, without their consent, by fire or explosive substance and that property is valued at $150 or greater. Additionally, residential arson is committed when the defendant’s intention was to defraud an insurance company. Residential arson is a Class 2 felony, punishable by three to seven years in prison.
Aggravated arson is a Class X felony, which is punishable by six to 30 years in prison, is an even more serious crime than residential arson. The main difference between the two is that aggravated arson includes the following:
- The defendant knows or has reason to know that a person or people are present in the building, structure, watercraft, or vehicle that was set on fire;
- Anyone suffers great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement; or
- A police officer, fireman, or correctional officer is injured in the line of duty because of the fire or explosion.
The offense of aggravated battery is committed when a person knowingly, without the discharge of a firearm, commits one or more of the following:
- Causes permanent disability or great bodily harm;
- Uses a bomb, flammable substance, poisonous substance, or dangerous biological substance to cause permanent and severe disability, great bodily harm, or disfigurement;
- Causes great bodily harm, sexual assault, or battery to a peace officer, fireman, correctional officer, or to other certain public employees or volunteers, and the defendant knew or should have known of their position.
- Strangulation; or
- Causes great bodily harm or permanent disfigurement to a person 60 years or older.
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If you have been charged with arson or assault, do not hesitate to contact the dedicated Naperville criminal defense attorneys of Donahue & Sowa today. We are eager to help you today.