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2 more weeks in custody for boys charged in Pheasant Run fire

Two boys accused of setting fires that ravaged the former Pheasant Run Resort in May will remain in custody for two more weeks, a DuPage County judge decided Aug. 1.

Judge Anthony Coco agreed with a prosecutor that there was an “immediate and urgent necessity” (a legal requirement) to keep them locked up to prevent harm to themselves and the public. That outweighed family support, good behavior while in detention and their lack of criminal histories, which the boys’ attorneys argued as reasons in favor of release.

But Coco also wants the boys – ages 17 and 15 – to attend high school this fall, so he decided they will be released to the custody of their parents on Aug. 15, three days before their classes start.

The boys will have to wear electronic monitors and only will be permitted to leave their houses to attend school – not any extracurricular activities, including playing sports, Coco ordered.

He also said the boys, while at home, can’t have any visitors unless one of their parents is present.

The 17-year-old lives in Carol Stream. The 15-year-old lives in Wheaton.

The two boys are related – one is the uncle of the other.

They are both charged with arson, burglary, trespassing and criminal damage to property.

Coco said part of his reason for keeping them in detention was that prosecutors allege the pair set more than two fires at the closed resort on the afternoon of May 21.

If prosecutors can prove there were “multiple starting points,” Coco said, “this case [being] a mere prank that went awry is far less likely.”

Two other boys – their cousins – are on home detention. They are charged with trespassing. One of them is 15 and lives in Winfield. The other is 14 and lives in Wheaton.

Coco has ordered that none of the boys’ names be published. That is a common practice in juvenile court.