El Rey arson suspects sentenced to six months

CREATED May 8, 2013 - UPDATED: May 8, 2013

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  • Video by wtmj.com

  • Video by wtmj.com


MILWAUKEE - A sentencing hearing Wednesday for the two teens arrested for setting a popular south side Milwaukee supermarket on fire.

Before being sentenced for setting the of the El Rey on fire, Miguel Rubio and Alexander Karsten apologized to the owners.

"I'd like to apologize to the Lang family for everything they had to deal with," Rubio told the court.

"I'd also like to apologize to the community for everything that's happened and the employees of El Rey,” Karsten added.

The judge sentenced them to six months in the house of corrections, plus three years probation.

"I find it remarkable that their conduct caused a fire of this magnitude," Milwaukee County Judge Jean Di Motto said.

Both teens were caught on tape outside the store moments before the fire broke out. Prosecutors say they were smoking half-used cigarettes that night.

The intense fire caused about $400,000 in damage. But it didn't stop there, store employees had to throw out hundreds of dollars worth of food and other store products. It’s a big loss to the supermarket.

"It's interrupting a lot of people's lives - 60 employees and our customers that we aim to serve every day," El Rey Owner Nelson Lang says.

Even though the damage total was in the hundred thousands, together the teens were ordered to pay the Langs just over $17,000.

Both teens will start serving their sentence on Monday. They also must do 100 hours of community services.