Deven Wayne White, age 20 of Blanding, was ordered to pay $1 million in restitution and is sentenced to two terms of one to 15 years and three terms of zero to five years in the Utah State prison. All five terms will be served concurrently.
Three sentencing recommendations were given to Seventh District Judge Lyle R. Anderson on July 8. The defense asked for probation, adult probation suggested concurrent terms, and prosecutors suggested that the terms be served consecutively.
“People are upset with these crimes,” said prosecutor Craig Halls. “The school is the center of the community.” Anderson generally followed the recommendation of adult probation, ordering the terms concurrently and adding $1 million in restitution.
In all practicality, prosecutors said that White has limited ability to pay the $1 million fine for the fire, which caused $1.9 million in damage.
White and Christopher Scott Stolzer, age 23 of Blanding, are charged with a series of break-ins at schools in Blanding, culminating in the November 17 fire that destroyed the library in the high school and caused extensive damage to several other classrooms.
Break-ins occurred at Blanding Elementary School, Albert R Lyman Middle School, The Zenos L Black building, and San Juan High School. Over the course of the prior break-ins, candy and i-Pods were stolen, furniture and equipment was destroyed, windows were broken, personal files were accessed, and a small fire was started in the library.
The pair were arrested after the November 17 fire. They each were charged with a number of felony and misdemeanor crimes, including first degree felony aggravated arson.
Stolzer has been declared incompetent to stand trial and is currently housed in the Utah State Hospital. After 90 days, a report from the hospital will re-address his competency to stand trial.
The fires caused $1.9 million in damage to the school, in addition to disrupting the educational process. The school was closed for two days after the fire and construction crews worked in the school through the remainder of the school year.
The library and classrooms were moved to temporary locations through the reconstruction process. Construction will be complete when students return in August for a new school year.