Steven Kemper burned alive his teenage son in an arson incident. It was fraud gone wrong. Now wheelchair-stricken, Kemper has to serve jail time.
Back in 2001, in St. Louis, Kemper was involved in some insurance fraud schemes with his ex-wife, Sandra Bryant. They had participated in a series of arson crimes.
While Steven and Sandra were doing it for the money, the unexpected happened during one of their arson plots. In an attempt to escape the flames, Kemper’s son became trapped inside as the fires raged.
According to Statesville Record & Landmark, it states that everyone made it out of the house but the son.
“Investigators say the fire at the family’s home suburban St. Louis home killed 15-year-old Zachariah Kemper after he became trapped in the basement he shared with his mother while her mother, Kemper and his lover lived upstairs. All of the adults escaped.”
Since the incident, various illnesses have affected Steven’s good health. He told the judge that the last 14 years of his life has been “hell.” Nevertheless, given his older age along with sicknesses, he asked the judge for an easier sentence. However, that didn’t happen.
As reports, Missouri’s News Tribune, Kemper was sentenced as follows.
“U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig’s sentence of five years and 10 months for Steven Kemper was in line with what prosecutors sought. She rejected the 56-year-old man’s requests for probation, given lung, knee and other health issues that have him reliant on a motorized wheelchair.”
Though she was understanding about his loss, the judge said that she couldn’t ignore the incident. The same news source mentions that she also stated that it wasn’t his first arson crime.
“This was the third fire. To suggest you are in a position to control what would happen once you set those wheels in motion is naive. You may not have anticipated that your son would pay the ultimate cost.”
Though she was empathetic, Kemper’s sister was not, as she wanted Fleissig to give her brother the maximum sentence. Contrary to her sentencing press, Steven’s sister hugged him as he was leaving the court.
While Steven only got approximately six years in prison, his sickness is quite severe. During an emotional plea, he described how he wouldn’t be coming back.
“I’m so sick that I won’t make it out of prison. I will die there.”
Ex-Wife Sandra Bryant is set to be sentenced in July.
All in all, what are your thoughts on the arson incident? Did the judge make the right call? Or should she have gone with Kemper’s sister’s judgment? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments below.
[Photo Credits: Twitter]