Suspected White Lakes Mall arsonist receives no time following diversion agreement

Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 4:26 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The suspected arsonist in the White Lakes Mall fire will serve no time following his entrance into a diversion agreement.

Suspected arsonist in the Dec. 29, 2020, White Lakes Mall fire Joel Andrew Sink received a “deferred adjudication” on Friday, Oct. 1, for arson and criminal trespass stemming from the incident.

A deferred adjudication, also known as an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, probation before judgment or deferred entry of judgment, is a plea deal in which the defendant pleads guilty or no contest to criminal charges in exchange for meeting requirements laid out by the court in a certain amount of time.

The Shawnee Co. Court advised Sink of his right to a jury trial and gave him a diversion and adjudication, which means he will not serve any time for the incident.

The fire for which Sink was arrested started on Dec. 29, 2020, in the White Lakes Mall. Mainline Printing was spared and credits the Topeka Fire Department for its hard work. TFD said it took 10 hours to extinguish the blaze. Sink was arrested the same day, along with two other juveniles for the fire.

On Jan. 25, 13 NEWS learned that Sink was arrested after he was identified as a person of interest from a Snapchat video of the fire being started.

The Topeka City Council voted unanimously in September to demolish the White Lakes Mall.

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