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Wife Of Former La Salle County State’s Attorney Headed To Prison

Posted by wlpo on September 24, 2010

42 year old Terri James of Ottawa was sentenced to 11 years in prison Friday afternoon after pleading guilty to residential arson and theft.

James is the wife of former La Salle County State’s Attorney Mike James.  He was in the audience to see his wife be given 11 years each for the two charges but made eligible to serve the sentences concurrently.

James admitted to stealing well over 100 thousand dollars while serving as treasurer for the First Congregational Church in Ottawa.  During her tearful apology, James said she thought the stealing was “going to be a one time emergency action”.

She also admits to setting ablaze the southside home of Carol Kozlowski and Vicki Smith.  Prosecutor Greg Sticka says James set the fire to try and distract the women from carrying out an audit of funds that James had stolen from the church dating back to 2004.  James was ordered to pay over 137 thousand dollars restitution to the First Congregation Church.  She’s obligated to pay that amount within five years of getting out of prison.

James is eligible for good behavior, or day-for-day credit in prison.  Coupled with about a half year already spent in jail, she could be released in five to six years.

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