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Four angry teenagers from Payette, Idaho have decided to take out their frustration on their school principal after they were suspended from school. But to get revenge, they didn’t just toilet paper the man’s house or bash his mailbox in. What they are accused of doing could have ended in murder…
The four boys allegedly burned down their principal’s house and bragged about it. Because they didn’t want to accept that they had been punished, the three high school teens and one middle schooler set fire to the man’s house. The home of the Payette High School Principal Mark Heleker was burned to the ground…
After the fire department rushed to the scene to put out the fire to the Helekers’ home, the police got involved.
Payette Police Chief Mark Clark believes the teens set fire to the school principal’s home because they had been suspended for bad behavior just the week prior.
Soon after the fire, Clark asked a judge to issue warrants for the four boys’ arrest on felony charges. One of the boys is being charged with first-degree arson, while the remaining three will be hit with a conspiracy to commit arson charge, the Argus Observer reports.
Apparently, things might have gotten out of control. The fire started when someone lit a trash can in the principal’s driveway. But the flames erupted and spread to the attic of the home where it proceeded to devour the rest of the house.
None of the Heleker’s were hurt. Heleker, his wife, and their 24-year-old daughter, Katie Erwin escape the blaze after Katie noticed it while walking her dog in the neighborhood.
The family was able to rescue their pets and a few photo albums but lost everything else – including their three cars, the Idaho Statesman reported.
The police investigation quickly led to the four boys because they advertised their crime on social media.
Clark found a snapchat message one teen sent that bragged about starting a fire with a fire emoji.
“That’s where we started,” Clark said, according to the Idaho Statesman. “Then we were receiving information from other students about particular students bragging about the fire.”
The investigators then got search warrants on Facebook accounts and phones to gather more evidence.
The accused teens will be transported to Canyon County Juvenile Facility. They will all appear in adult court initially. Although some might go to a juvenile court at a later date – but let’s hope they get punished to the full extent of the law.
Besides setting fire to the principal’s home, the suspended students also face burglary charges for breaking into his cars.
Payette High School students created a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the Helekers which has raised nearly $7,000 to date.
“The tragedy itself was so terrible and going through it, it’s going to take a long, long time to recover, and there’s some things we’ll never get back,” Heleker told the Argus Observer. “But on the other side of it, the positive outpouring from the community is just amazing. We’re just so grateful.”
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