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updated: 8/7/2014 8:50 AM

Illinois firefighter pleads guilty to arson

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Associated Press

GALESBURG -- A volunteer firefighter has pleaded guilty to arson.The (Galesburg) Register-Mail reports 24-year-old Blake Walsh accepted a deal Wednesday in a Knox County court to plead guilty to three counts of arson. The Williamsfield volunteer firefighter was initially charged with five counts of arson and criminal damage to property.

He faces a maximum of seven years in prison.

Walsh was arrested in April after witnesses reported he was near a trash bin fire in Williamsfield. The county sheriff's department and the Galesburg and Williamsfield fire departments investigated. They determined he had set fire to more than 20 hay bales between November and April.

The judge ordered a mental health evaluation before Walsh's next court appearance in September. He remains at the county jail on $10,000 bond.

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