WATSEKA — A Loda man accused of setting fire to a building in the small Iroquois County village last October pleaded guilty to a felony charge of criminal damage to property Tuesday and was sentenced to 30 months of probation and 180 days in the county jail.
In return for 37-year-old Ronald E. Campe II’s plea to the Class 3 felony, prosecutors agreed to dismiss an original charge of aggravated arson, a Class X felony punishable by six to 30 years in prison.
Campe was given credit for the 148 days he had already served in jail. With day-for-day credit also included, he will be required to serve no additional jail time.
Judge James Kinzer also ordered Campe to pay $500 in fines and a $250 DNA testing fee.
Campe was accused of setting fire on Oct. 22 to a building at 205 N. Oak St. Campe was living in one of three apartments located in the rear of the building, which also occupied a bar and restaurant called The Owl’s Nest. Three people were inside the building when it was set ablaze, but no one was injured.
Loda Fire Chief Harold Ecker said the fire caused "severe damage to the apartments to the back and a lot of smoke and heat and water damage to the restaurant part" of the building. The fire was believed to have started in the second-floor apartment behind the restaurant, Ecker said.