Newcomb Hotel fire suspect enters guilty plea - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Newcomb Hotel fire suspect enters guilty plea

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) - The Quincy man accused of burning down the Newcomb Hotel building pleaded guilty Tuesday morning in Adams County Circuit Court.

Adams County State's Attorney Jon Barnard says 25-year-old Mathew Clark pleaded guilty to a burglary charge and will be responsible for restitution costs. He was originally charged with burglary and criminal damage over $100,000.

Clark waived his right to a jury trial Friday to make way for the plea deal.

Barnard says Clark could get up to four-and-a-half years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 27 at 9 a.m.

Clark was arrested in connection with the Sept. 6 five alarm fire that destroyed the historic building. Authorities say Clark claimed to have accidentally started the fire when looking for scrap metal in the building.

(See "Authorities say the Newcomb Hotel fire was apparently accidental")

Clark originally pleaded not guilty and was scheduled for jury trial Feb. 10. 
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