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Judge’s Plea Deal for Law Grad in Chapel Fire Is Better Than Prosecutor’s

Posted Nov 4, 2010 6:23 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Manhattan judge has offered a Harvard law grad a no-jail plea deal in the arson of a Sept. 11 memorial chapel.

Prosecutors had asked for a one-to-three-year prison term for Brian Schroeder, 27, if he pleads guilty to the fire, set on Halloween morning last year. But Judge Rena Uviller said Wednesday she would spare Schoeder jail time if he pleads guilty, pays restitution and avoids arrest for the next year, the New York Daily News reports.

Schroeder has told police he was so drunk he barely remembers the incident.

Uviller acknowledged that setting the chapel on fire caused pain for victims’ families. But "I don't see any point in ruining another life—that is, Mr. Schroeder's," she said.

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