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Indiana man sentenced for burning down re-creation of George Rogers Clark cabin

Police have identified as suspect in a May 20, 2021, arson that destroyed the re-creation of a cabin at the George Rogers Clark Home Site in Falls of the Ohio State Park in Clarksville, Indiana. (Image from Video Provided/WLKY via CNN)

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana man has been sentenced to community corrections for setting a fire that destroyed a re-creation of the log cabin where Revolutionary War figure George Rogers Clark spent his retirement years.

A Clark County judge sentenced Jason Fosse of Clarksville to eight years Monday, with five suspended and the remaining three to be served in community corrections, the News and Tribune reported.

Fosse pleaded guilty in October to one count of arson for the May 2021 fire that destroyed the cabin, which overlooked the Ohio River on a scenic site in Clarksville, Indiana, just north of Louisville, Kentucky.

Prosecutors had sought a 10-year sentence for Fosse, with six years to be served in prison. They also asked the court to order him to pay $35,000 in restitution, but the judge rejected that, saying it could be taken up in civil court.

Indiana State Parks South Region Manager Lucas Green, who managed the George Rogers Clark homesite at the time of the fire, said during Monday’s hearing that it will cost more than $35,000 for the site to be redeveloped.

“I think if there’s a situation where we have an incident like this it’s obviously important that someone step up and take care of the situation,” he said. “And if they admit to the crime, they should pay the restitution.”

The cabin was erected in 2001 at the Falls of the Ohio State Park with the same dimensions as the home Clark lived in from 1803 to 1809. His original home was destroyed in 1854.

Clark was best known for his Revolutionary War role leading American soldiers who defeated British forces in 1779 and captured Fort Sackville in Vincennes, located in southwestern Indiana.

Clark’s cabin was also where his younger brother, William, met Meriwether Lewis a year before they embarked in 1804 on their expedition that opened up the American West.