MARION COUNTY — A 26-year-old Beckemeyer man was sentenced Wednesday in Marion County Court to 7-years in prison for his role in a March residential burglary and arson.

Justin Pitt was arrested along with 26-year-old Nicholas D. Fletcher, of St. Louis, in connection with the March 26 burglary and fire at a home in the 700 block of South Pine in Centralia.

Centralia police officers responded to the scene after firefighters found multiple ignition points in the home and that an accelerant had been used. Initially it appeared that the arson was done in an attempt to cover up a burglary, as several item removed from the residence were located in a trash can nearby.

Later after conducting interviews with family members, it was determined that Fletcher — the homeowner’s nephew — was possibly responsible. A Centralia police investigator ultimately located Fletcher and brought him in for questioning.

Both he and Pitt were subsequently arrested and charged with Class 1 felony residential burglary and Class 1 felony residential arson. Pitt pleaded guilty Tuesday to the burglary charge in exchange for the arson charge being dismissed.

In addition to his 7-year prison sentence, he will have to serve 2-years probation upon his release from the Illinois Department of Corrections. Pitt was given credit for 206 days served in the Marion County Jail.

Fletcher is next scheduled to appear in court November 18, for a pre-trial hearing in his case.