Teens admit setting fire at college

Posted Dec. 24, 2008, at 10:16 a.m.

LEWISTON, Maine — A Bates College student and a visitor have pleaded guilty to reduced charges of criminal mischief for setting a daytime fire at the liberal arts campus in Lewiston.

In return, prosecutors dropped arson charges Tuesday against 19-year-olds Edmund Antell and Kyle Pickard, both from Sherborn, Mass. Under terms of a deferred sentencing agreement, the charges will be dismissed if the teens stay out of trouble for a year, pay $250 each in restitution and complete 100 hours each of community service.

Authorities said the incident occurred last May when Antell and Pickard found a canister of gasoline, poured it on the pavement and set it ablaze, igniting a pile of mulch. No one was injured and a college spokesman said damage was negligible.

Antell, a track team member who was completing his freshman year, and Pickard, who was visiting Antell, were arrested shortly after the fire was extinguished.