ST. CHARLES, Ill. (CBS) — A teenager from Aurora was sentenced to 17 years in prison last week, for setting his 3-year-old niece on fire and leaving her with third-degree burns.
Raymundo Herrera, 18, pleaded guilty in Kane County Court Friday to heinous battery. He agreed to the 17-year sentence, the Kane County state’s attorney’s office said.
On Oct. 5, 2009, Herrera, of the 1200 block of Grove Street in Aurora, was apparently upset that his niece interrupted him when he was listening to music. So he sprayed lighter fluid on her and lit her on fire.
Herrera had been upstairs in the home with his niece, police said. After a short time, the girl ran down the stairs with her clothing on fire.
Two of the girl’s female relatives, ages 19 and 50, extinguished the flames and called 911.
The girl suffered third-degree burns over 18 percent of her body, police said. She was taken to Rush-Copley Medical Center, then flown to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. She was initially listed in critical condition, but she did survive.
Police said Herrera left the home after relatives called 911 that evening, but was found by two of his family members walking in the neighborhood. He was brought back to the home and then arrested, police said.
He has since been held on $3 million bond.
Herrera had only been living at the home for a few weeks at the time of the incident and did not live there permanently.
Neighbors said the family was very nice and the girl with long, pretty hair was always smiling before the fire.
Herrera must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence. He will receive credit for 621 days he has already served in jail, according to court records. Herrera also faced attempted murder and aggravated domestic battery charges which were dropped Monday, according to court records.
Herrera also faced felony criminal damage to government property charges for allegedly damaging the fire sprinkler system in his jail cell. Those charges were dropped Friday, according to court records.
The Aurora Beacon-News contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire