Ottawa man gets probation for New Brite Spot fire

Man pleaded guilty to setting April fire

A look at the rear of the New Brite Spot restaurant, 801 E. Norris Dr., Ottawa shows damage from a late Saturday night fire to the building.

A 45-year-old Ottawa man pleaded guilty Friday to setting fire to an Ottawa restaurant. John F. Smith then was sentenced to four years probation plus mental health treatment.

Smith appeared Friday in La Salle County Circuit Court on one count of arson, which is a Class 2 felony carrying three to seven years in prison, but with the possibility of probation. He was charged following an investigation into the cause of an April 15 fire at the New Brite Spot Family Restaurant.

Friday, however, Smith pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 48 months reporting probation plus special conditions including no contact with the property owners. Smith, who had no previous criminal history of note, is to undergo a mental health evaluation and must follow any treatment directives.

Have a Question about this article?