LIVINGSTON COUNTY – A Mount Morris teenager was arraigned on a four-count felony indictment Thursday morning in connection to the burning of an unoccupied building in the Village of Mount Morris.
Alex Gross, 17, is charged with Arson in the Third Degree, Burglary in the Third Degree, Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree, and Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree, all of which are felonies. If found guilty, he could face up to 5 to 15 years in prison.
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“The defendant started a house fire which caused an explosion,” said Assistant District Attorney Justin Hill. Gross has retained local attorney Steven Stessler.
The fire badly damaged a vacant apartment building at the Damonsville Street and Parker Road at about 4:40 a.m. on May 4, 2016.
The Mount Morris Police Department investigated in the two days following the fire and arrested Gross with a 14-year-old boy who was not named. The 14-year-old’s case is currently being handled in family court.
Hill said that Gross has a 2015 conviction for a misdemeanor for which he was adjudicated a youthful offender and his record sealed. Whether he will be treated as a youthful offender in this case is up to Judge Dennis Cohen.
Sessler said that he has sent District Attorney Greg McCaffrey a demand to produce discovery. Gross will return to Livingston County Court at a later date for further proceedings.
Judge Cohen continued Gross’ bail at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond.