JEFFERSON COUNTY — A 20-year-old Mt. Vernon man was sentenced Thursday in Jefferson County Court to 9-years in prison after he pleaded guilty to an amended charge of arson.
Cortez Johnson was originally charged with Class X felony aggravated arson knowing people were present for an early morning fire in July set at a home in the 700 block of South 21st Street in Mt. Vernon.
On Thursday Johnson agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of Class 1 felony arson and a nine-year sentence in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
According to the Mt. Vernon Police Department, they responded to the scene with the Mt. Vernon Fire Department and an arson investigation was quickly initiated.
Officers reportedly discovered an item that had apparently been ignited and then thrown at the house causing the siding to catch fire.
The investigation reportedly led officers to Johnson and he was arrested on the Class X charge. He’s remained in the Jefferson County Jail since that time.