Crime

Man charged with arson in fire that destroyed Alorton mayor’s house gets bond reduced

Alorton mayor’s house destroyed in fire

Alorton Mayor JoAnn Reed’s house was destroyed by a fire early Monday morning, but she managed to get out of the house safely.
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Alorton Mayor JoAnn Reed’s house was destroyed by a fire early Monday morning, but she managed to get out of the house safely.

The 19-year old Alorton man who was charged with arson after the Alorton mayor’s house was destroyed by fire had a bond reduction hearing in court Wednesday morning.

Yadarius A. Crawford, 19, from Alorton, was charged in December with arson in connection with the fire at Mayor JoAnn Reed’s home. He was arrested and his bond was set at $250,000.

On Wednesday, St. Clair County Circuit Judge Bob Haida granted a reduction to $100,000. Crawford must wear an ankle monitor and have no contact with Reed, according to the court order.

The arrest warrant that spelled out the charges against Crawford accused him of knowingly damaging Reed’s single-family residence, located at 108 N. 42nd St. in Alorton, with the knowledge that Reed was inside. It is a class X felony.

It wasn’t clear Wednesday if Reed knows Crawford personally. She couldn’t be reached for comment.

It was the third time that a residence belonging to Reed burned to the ground, but the first time that anyone was arrested. Because of that history, Reed’s attorney, Justin Kuehn, said his client has voiced concern about Crawford posting bond.

“That’s why we opposed the bond reduction,” he said.

Reed has credited her alarm company with saving her life. It was their notification that prompted her to get our safely, she said previously.

Kuehn said he and his client are thankful that Haida put in his order that Crawford is to have no contact with Reed. Kuehn said they are also grateful that Haida didn’t grant Crawford the reduction to $50,000 that he was seeking.

“He put in cautionary measures to safeguard my client from potential danger,” Kuehn said.

The order also states that the case will be reassigned due to Circuit Judge John O’Gara’s recusal.

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Carolyn P. Smith has worked for the Belleville News-Democrat for 18 years and currently covers breaking news in the Metro-East. She graduated from the Journalism School at the University of Missouri at Columbia and says news is in her DNA.


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