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Decade Prison Sentence For Westclox Teen

Posted by wlpo on December 6, 2012

“I’m not a bad kid, I just made a mistake”. That “mistake” of setting Westclox on fire New Year’s Eve night has 18-year old Steven Gallacher of La Salle headed to prison.

Judge H. Chris Ryan sentenced Gallacher to 10 years after he was found guilty of aggravated arson.  Gallacher read a statement where he apologized to firefighters battling the blaze, especially former La Salle firefighter Steve Smith whose injury during the fire made the charges a Class X felony. The teen was stoic when his prison sentence was announced, not shedding a tear unlike his mother who was seated behind him.

In announcing his judgement, Judge Ryan seemed to put an emphasis on a letter written by the injured firefighter.  Ryan called the firefighter’s injuries “substantial”. He also said he would’ve been more lenient with the sentence if Gallacher had pled guilty and agreed to a quicker resolution.

Gallacher says he was smoking weed and drinking alcohol New Year’s Eve when he and a younger teen from Peru “got bored” and went into Westclox. Gallacher lit a boat on fire initially but the fire ended up destroyed a large chunk of the old clock factory. Over 20 fire departments fought the fire for a full two days.  Flare up fires continued for a full month.

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