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Ohio teen sentenced to 9 years in home arson case

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — A 17-year-old honor student accused of trying to kill his parents by tying their bedroom doors shut and setting their suburban southwest Ohio home on fire was sentenced to nine years in prison Tuesday.

The teen pleaded guilty last week to two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of aggravated arson in adult court. He could have received up to 33 years in prison, assistant Butler County prosecutor Josh Muennich said.

Both parents escaped the Oct. 23 fire at their Liberty Township home, though the teen's father hurt his legs jumping from a window.

Investigators said the teen tied the doors shut with rope and started the fire because he was allegedly angry with his parents over his laptop being taken away. The teen kept a journal in which he detailed anger against his parents and himself, authorities said.

The Associated Press isn't naming the teen or his parents because of his age.

Defense attorney Brad Kraemer maintained the teen's real intention was to prevent his parents from stopping him from harming himself and his action was a cry for help.

Kraemer had raised questions about his client's competency to stand trial, but the judge had found the teen competent based on a psychological evaluation.

Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Craig Hedric sentenced the teen Tuesday after hearing testimony about his mental state and other factors.

Kraemer had told the judge that the teen's parents thought the plea was in their son's best interest.

"I have a lot of respect for two people who continue to support their son when nobody would have blamed them for not doing so," Kraemer said.

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