Arson and Conspiracy to Commit Arson
A 16 year-old high school student and his friend visited a Walmart where they ignited fireworks inside the store in the vicinity of fertilizers and other flammable materials. The ignited fireworks spread to these materials causing a large fire to start and spread within the store. The fire spread throughout aisles of merchandise and triggered a hasty evacuation by customers and employees. Store management called 9-1-1 for the fire department. Fortunately, no one was hurt during this incident. A subsequent investigation by police involved a review of store surveillance cameras, which captures the two juveniles who started the fire. One of the boys and his family retained Attorney John L. Calcagni III to represent him in the matter, which charged him with both Arson and Conspiracy to Commit Arson. Attorney Calcagni worked tirelessly to prevent his client from going to jail for this apparent misconduct. The boy had substance abuse issues with both alcohol and marijuana. Attorney Calcagni ensured his client’s enrollment and completion of substance abuse treatment, first in-patient and second out-patient therapy. He also facilitated his client’s voluntary completion of community service and a course that teaches the dangers associated with fire, known as a Fire Starters Program put on by the State Fire Marshal’s Office. The case went on for several months, which afforded the boy time to engage in these self-rehabilitative efforts. Based on the foregoing, Attorney Calcagni successfully convinced the Court and prosecutors to resolve this serious matter with a sentence of one year probation. This was a remarkable result for this juvenile client because most adults charged with Arson face a potential sentence of life imprisonment, as Arson remains a common law capital offense.