No jail time for teenage girl convicted of starting the Cocos Fi - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

No jail time for teenage girl convicted of starting the Cocos Fire

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  • Teen to learn punishment for starting Cocos Fire

    Teen to learn punishment for starting Cocos Fire

    Wednesday, May 27 2015 9:33 AM EDT2015-05-27 13:33:45 GMT
    A disposition hearing, similar to a sentencing in adult court, will be held Wednesday at Juvenile Hall for the teenage girl found guilty of starting the Cocos Fire, which blackened nearly 2,000 acres and destroyed more than 35 homes and other structures. 
    A disposition hearing, similar to a sentencing in adult court, will be held Wednesday at Juvenile Hall for the teenage girl found guilty of starting the Cocos Fire, which blackened nearly 2,000 acres and destroyed more than 35 homes and other structures. 
SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The teenage girl found guilty of starting the 2014 Cocos Fire will not serve jail time, but will serve 400 hours of community service. The judge ordered her to pay millions in restitution. 

The now 14-year-old teenager will be able to live at home and must attend school. The judge also ordered the teenage girl to write apology letters to each of the victims, and she will have a 6 p.m. To 6 a.m., curfew. 

One of the victims of the fire said it was a slap on the wrist. 

"She is not suffering at all for this. That's all I have to say," said Chuck Higby. 

Higby wondered how the teenage girl would pay back the millions in restitution, if ordered by the judge. 

"Juvenile hall. She needs to stay there until she is 18, and then let the court decide. How is she going to pay all these people back restitution? Where is she going to get the money," asked Higby. 

The District Attorney said the punishment was appropriate because it focuses on rehabilitation, and not on jail time. The rehabilitation program ordered by the judge will last one year.  

The teenage girl was also ordered to check-in with a judge every 60 days. 

"She is going to be rehabilitated, She is going to learn from her errors or lack of judgment. She will receive the wrap around service she and her family will need," said District Attorney Shawnalyse Ochoa. 

The Cocos fire was one of more than a dozen brushfires that erupted in hot, dry and windy conditions last spring. Officials said fighting the fires cost nearly $28 million.

The girl, then 13, told investigators she knew that intentionally setting a fire was wrong but she wanted to see what would happen if she did.

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