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Willmar, Minn., juvenile pleads to seven felonies for arson fire, crime spree

WILLMAR -- The 17-year-old Willmar boy charged with arson, motor vehicle theft and property damage for a two-week long crime spree that ended with setting fire to an occupied Willmar residence has pleaded guilty to a total of seven felony charges.

Andrew Charles Wyman entered the pleas this morning in Kandiyohi County District Court. He pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree arson, three counts of motor vehicle theft, two counts of criminal damage to property and one second-degree burglary charge, along with two misdemeanor charges.

Wyman had been scheduled for an adult certification hearing before District Judge Kathryn N. Smith. As part of the plea agreement, Wyman will be responsible for restitution on all 17 counts against him. No affidavit of restitution has been filed, but the amount will be substantial, because the house that was set ablaze has been razed and six vehicles were either stolen or damaged during the April 24 to May 3 crime spree.

Wyman will receive extended juvenile jurisdiction, and be sentenced as a juvenile until his 21st birthday. He will also receive a stayed adult sentence, likely to 75 months in prison on the arson charge, which will be executed if he fails to comply with the juvenile sentence. His disposition hearing is Sept. 16.

Wyman and Chase John Hodapp, 20, of Willmar, were both charged in connection to the incidents. They also face theft charges, for taking a pickup, ATVs and other items, in Renville and Meeker counties.

Hodapp has pleaded not guilty June 27 to the 17 charges against him. Judge Michael J. Thompson ordered that he have a two-day jury trial starting Sept. 21 on the first-degree arson and property damage charges stemming from the May 3 house fire. Thompson ordered that trials on the remaining counts be scheduled following the resolution of the arson and property damage counts.

Wyman is in custody at the Prairie Lakes Youth Program and Hodapp is currently in the Kandiyohi County Jail.

Felony matters against 16- and 17-year-old juveniles are public record.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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