Arsonist Ordered to Cover City’s $100,000 Insurance Deductible

January 4, 2008

A judge ordered a man to pay Duluth, Minnesota’s $100,000 insurance deductible for setting a fire that caused $384,058 in damage to a community center.

Tylor Ray Olson, 20, pleaded guilty in October to third-degree arson for starting the July 13 fire at the Harrison Community Center. Olson said he started the fire in a coal chute to keep warm but claimed he didn’t intend to start the building on fire.

Sixth Judicial District Judge Shaun Floerke sentenced Olson in October to three years of supervised probation, 100 hours of community service, $210 in court costs and to undergo a psychological evaluation. In an order filed Friday, Floerke ruled that Olson was directly responsible for the city’s out-of-pocket cost — the $100,000 deductible — to repair the community center.

According to a memorandum accompanying the court order, Olson has no income, owes $15,000 for his own medical bills, isn’t working and is essentially homeless. Olson has applications pending for Supplemental Security Income and medical assistance.

But Floerke said that doesn’t excuse him from paying back the city.
“Mr. Olson may bring a motion to adjust his repayment schedule in the event he is asked to pay more than he is able,”‘ the judge wrote.

Arrowhead Regional Corrections will review Olson’s financial status while he is on probation to set up a payment schedule based on his ability to pay. When his probation is completed, any unpaid restitution can be sought through civil means.

Information from: Duluth News Tribune,

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