PENDLETON - The second of two men convicted of reckless burning in the July 4, 2003, fire that destroyed a Pendleton home was sentenced to five years probation Tuesday and ordered to pay nearly $300,000 in restitution.
The fire destroyed the home of the Rev. Richard and Dorris Pounds.
In addition to the probation, Judge Garry Reynolds ordered Colin K. Thompson, 22, of Helix to serve 40 hours of community service, write a letter of apology to the Pounds and pay restitution in the amount of $63,494 to the Pounds and $223,256 to State Farm Insurance.
The judge suspended a 90-day jail sentence and $1,000 fine. Reckless burning is considered a Class A misdemeanor.
Thompson's co-defendant, Johnny Ray Barnes, 25, of Hermiston, received the same sentence when he and Thompson were convicted in a jury trial June 24.
"I think (the sentence) is more than fair and appreciate what the District Attorney has done," said Dennis Hachler, attorney for Thompson and Barnes, during Thompson's sentencing Tuesday. "(Thompson) is a good boy. I don't know what happened for sure."
Investigators concluded Thompson and Barnes set off illegal fireworks that hit the eaves of the house at 2222 S.W. Quinney Drive, fell to the ground and exploded, starting the fire. The home was destroyed and the family dog was killed in the fire.
The Pounds had been out of town for the holiday weekend. Pendleton Fire Marshal Jack Remillard said the Pounds have rebuilt their home at the same site.
"I don't know what it is about youth, but sometimes we do thoughtless things," Judge Reynolds said. "This ... was not in any way meant to be malicious. But mementos, photos ... a dog that never did anything to hurt anyone can't be replaced."
Umatilla County District Attorney Chris Brauer concurred.
"The stupid acts made victims out of the Pounds and they were victimized to a horrible extent," Brauer said. "While the acts of this weren't malicious, the consequences were horrendous."
During his sentencing, Thompson tearfully told the court he was sorry for what he did last year.
"I just want to apologize to the Pounds," he said.