Updated: May 14, 2013 6:13AM
Lake Superior Court Judge Diane Ross Boswell sentenced a Dyer man to 12 years for an arson fire that destroyed the home of a police officer.
Christopher Costello, 28, will serve six years in the Indiana Department of Correction, followed by six years in Lake County Community Corrections, for setting fire to the home of a Lynwood, Ill., police officer.
Costello, of the 9200 block of Sheffield Avenue, read a statement in court in which he apologized to Kelly Johnson and her family.
Costello admitted on Dec. 20, 2008, he broke the window of the rear door to the victim’s home on Sheffield Avenue and lit a box of clothing on fire. The box caught fire and spread rapidly throughout the victim’s home as Costello stood and watched the blaze. Costello said he set fire to the home because he knew one of the residents is a police officer and he dislikes cops.
One of the children suffered burns to his ears and singed hair, and another child suffered smoke inhalation.
Deputy prosecutor Michael Toth presented photographs of the family’s five dogs, which were trapped in their kennels in the basement and perished. Family members also described the fear they continue to experience, the loss of treasured heirlooms and the difficulty they had for two years while the home was being rebuilt.
Costello’s plea agreement outlined a maximum 12-year sentence. Last year, prosecutors dismissed three counts of attempted murder. Under terms of the agreement, nine felony counts, including class A felonies which are punishable by 20 to 50 years, were dismissed.