City hall arsonist faces felony charges

Nicolas Wessels is charged with 2nd degree arson and 2nd degree criminal mischief.

At the council meeting October 2, city attorney Heather Prendergast presented an update on the prosecution of Nicolas Wessels, 23, of Clarksville. Prendergast said prosecuting county attorney Gregory Lievens sought an opinion from the council on whether or not to accept a plea deal from the defendant.

     Wessels is charged with 2nd degree arson, a Class C felony with a maximum sentence of 10 years. He also is charged with 2nd degree criminal mischief, a class d felony with a maximum sentence of 5 years. Wessels was also on probation for a substance abuse charge, a misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of 1 year.

     Prendergast asked the council, as the city is the victim of the crime, their opinion on whether to accept the plea deal or not.

     Based on the council’s attitude, Prendergast said she would call the prosecutor and tell him the council would not be comfortable with a plea deal, and preferred to let Wessels plead guilty as charged.


Read more in the October 5th edition of the STAR.