The Edmond Sun

Local News

May 12, 2014

Police: 4 face potential charges in Guthrie school fire

EDMOND — Four juveniles face potential charges in the burglary of an existing Guthrie elementary school and in the burning of an abandoned elementary school, police said.

Guthrie Police Detective Jeremy Thorne said the Office of Juvenile Affairs and the Logan County District Attorney’s Office are investigating and considering charges against the four 14- to 16-year-old juveniles, and the DA has received probable cause paperwork.

Thorne said three of the suspects were arrested after a juvenile who was involved, prompted by a parent, came to the station and cooperated. Thorne praised the parent for taking the difficult action.

At about 1:30 p.m. Friday, the three other juveniles were together in Guthrie when they were arrested, Thorne said. Part of the decision-making process will be whether the suspects will be charged as adults or as juveniles on burglary and arson complaints, Thorne said.

Early Friday morning, the juveniles allegedly broke into Cotteral Elementary School, 2001 W. Noble in Guthrie, then went to the old Banner Elementary School, located in the 1000 block of West Warner Avenue, allegedly set the structure on fire and then returned to Cotteral Elementary, Thorne said.

At Cotteral Elementary, the juveniles allegedly broke windows and vandalized a television, causing more than $2,000 worth of damage, Thorne said.

In a previous report, Guthrie Fire Chief Eric Harlow said the old Banner Elementary School was a total loss. At 3:53 a.m. Friday, the call was received and crews arrived to heavy fire coming from the northwest corner of the building, Harlow said. The fire quickly spread throughout the entire structure, he said.

The structure was not occupied and there were no injuries, Harlow said.

Banner Elementary School was one of 825 built in the state by the WPA and it was unoccupied as of 2011, according to the website The Living New Deal. The cornerstone showed the date of 1935 and at the bottom read: “WPA Project 6-91/W.S. Key State Adm./W.L. Berry Div. Dir.”

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

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