Probation in case connected to Newcomb Hotel fire

An Adams County judge sentenced the man connected to the fire that destroyed a historic hotel in downtown Quincy to 48-months probation.

Mathew Clark appeared at the sentencing hearing Thursday morning in Adams County Court.

Clark reached a plea deal with the state and pleaded guilty to burglary in February. As part of that negotiation, Clark faced up to four and a half years in prison. During Thursday's sentencing hearing, the state asked Clark to be sentenced to the full four and a half years.

Ciruit Judge Scott Walden sentenced Clark to probation.

Part of his sentence requires Clark to pay more than $497,000 in restitution. The prosecution said it's unlikely that Clark, who told investigators he was foraging for scrap metal when he accidentally started the fire, would be able to make restitution.

Clark admitted to being in the Newcomb building on Sept. 6 when the fire started.

He said he was in there looking for scrap metal when his flashlight went out. He lit a bucket of rags for light, it got too hot and started the fire.