Halls Ferry Inn Jazz Cafe Owner Given Probation for Burning Down Restaurant

The former business owner pleaded guilty to arson July 30.

Lozell Stiles was given a suspended sentence Friday after he pleaded guilty to second-degree arson for setting fire to the .

Stiles, 40, of the 1200 block of Herman Orchard in North County, was placed on five years supervised probation and must pay $1,000 in restitution.

Stiles pleaded guilty July 30 to setting fire to the business in the 3400 block of North Highway 67 in Florissant.

No one was injured in the Feb. 18 blaze, which destroyed the building that housed the family-owned restaurant, the Halls Ferry Inn, for many years. Stiles transformed the business into a jazz cafe in 2011.

Debbie August 14, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Wow not much of a sentence.
E. Holloway August 14, 2012 at 03:16 PM
A perfect example of a broken justice system. Remember the POS that shot the police officer recently. What do you want to bet that some bleeding heart judge will let him off with a very light sentence?
Keli August 14, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Wow....not much at all. That $1000 fine won't get rid of that ugly eye sore(what's left of that business). Can they please tear it down?
Don Zykan August 14, 2012 at 04:32 PM
This is a total disrespect for the good citizens of North St. Louis County and Florissant. This man burns his business, burns another mans property, and gets a $1000 fine and probation. Where is the Anger? Every good citizen should weigh in on this. This is just unacceptable.
Gerry Mac August 14, 2012 at 05:49 PM
I agree with the prevailing sentiment. The bum burns down a business and puts firemen's lives in harm's way, and he only pays $1,000 fine and has a suspended sentence? Really? Come on judge, get serious. Who are you so we can vote you out of office?
Sandy August 14, 2012 at 05:58 PM
The deterent to crime here is????? Looks like he got what he was looking for....a way out of a failing business with the least amount of repercussions. Sets quite an example in these financially trying times.
dr August 14, 2012 at 06:31 PM
We need to start with Dooley and work our way down and vote everyone out
concerned citizen August 14, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Makes you want to think about what you might do if you got in trouble. Why not take a chance and burn it down, not much of a consequence if you get caught. I know the jails are full, but this is a prime example of home detention on ankle bracelet, and let HIM pay the cost.
Elizabeth Clark Puckett August 14, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Wow, I can't believe this sentence, is this a misprint? $1,000?? Does that even cover what it cost our firefighters risking their lives to put out the fire he started? and 5 years supervised probation? geez where is the Justice?
Ru Ann Davinroy August 14, 2012 at 11:55 PM
I agree with the above comments. We need to be enraged and indignant that he was handed such a light sentence. $1,000 seems like a slap on the wrist. Will the bank who financed the purchase hold him responsible for the amount of the loan? I would hope so, but then again, did he buy it under the guise of his "church"? Everyone needs to stay on top of this, investigate, and get the word out!
Steven Siemsen August 15, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Why are we so worried about protecting the rights of criminals? Why should criminals have any rights at all. This convicted criminal didn't respect the rights of the building owners, loan holders, patrons, employees or other tenants of the plaza. He should be on the hook to pay for all the damages. He should be in employee of the state required to do the most menial tasks with half of his wages going to repay the damages. He should be required to do this until every last penny is repaid.
Don Zykan August 15, 2012 at 10:20 PM
This man did not own that property. He leased it, and then burnt down another persons property to try and evade his own set of circumstances. Probation for this crime is just not right.
KC August 16, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Steven you said it best...I feel once you commit a crime (such as he did), you shouldn't have any rights whatsoever
Karen McKay August 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Wal-mart plans a (cross access) from this center were Lozell Stiles burned down his business. Why are the owners of the property waiting on repairs, isn't there insurance? The Walmart deal is also asking for a light and it will upgrade the entrance to their property. Lozell Stiles gets a slap on the hand putting others at risk burning his business and then the property owners have let it sit. Florissant needs to push ahead and get this cleaned up. As for Mr. Stiles....more should be insulted by the punishment.
stacey August 16, 2012 at 02:30 PM
I agree with ALL the above, and am ashamed of myself that I didn't even consider the firefighters lives being risked and the fact that our (taxpayers) $$ goes to the fire departments as welll!! This is a DISGRACE of a sentence, and the judge's name does need to be released!! So many people, families, small & big business owner's are having a rough time financially, not JUST this man!! What's the sentence for people who burn their cars on fire, or throw them in a river to get out of the $$ the owe but can't afford?? WOW, way to set an example, my bet is he will be the 1st of many who does something like this! He should have be made an example of why NOT to do this! NOT the other way around!! As far as Walmart goes, i'm so lost and can't even form an opinion becuz everything seems so "hush hush" about it. Last I heard "the soil Walmart tested was BAD" or something crazy like that! Seems, we aren't being given a chance to voice opinons over 2 to 3min anymore or being taken seriously when WE are the ones who have to live here!! I'm underwater on my house and would LOVE to leave too bad i'm not like Mr. Stiles, & would rather take the hard way out!
linda August 16, 2012 at 09:08 PM
If you go to case.net you can find the name of the judge :o)
God's Friend August 18, 2012 at 03:33 AM
well, guess what, favor aint fair. Some of us would rather fall into the hands of an angry God than the hands of man, because God will have mercy and man will stone you. I thank God He is not like man. If you ever came into a season when you were not in your right frame of mind and did something you later regreted ( and you will), would you ask God for mercy or would you tell God to give you what you deserve? Iam by no means condoning wrong, but God is merciful and compassionate because of the frailty of man and He can choose to have mercy on whom he will. And no one can question what he choses to do because He is God all by Himself. Amen!!!!!! From the heart of God
K August 18, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Again, where is the deterrent here? Arson=no jail time? $1000 fine? That's not even a slap on the wrist, that's like a tap on the back of the hand. The crime here is that this pathetic loser is right back out in the community and not in a cell where he belongs.
Ru Ann Davinroy August 22, 2012 at 03:23 AM
The judge was Robert Cohen. Remember that name at election time!
bill anderson August 29, 2012 at 08:29 PM
im making a statement that clears up any misunderstanding as we no we live in a world that loves to see failure come to people that are doing there best to be right and to get ahead in life it happens more with black men i plead guilty to a accident that happen in my kitchen that could have happen to anyone the place i was renting and most of the personal property that was in the cafe was not owned by me are my investors so we had no gain out of this happenning just to make that clear and we are doing everything we can to restore what was lost i didnt make a statement until now just to let things die down it is sad to say that as a black young man with a great back ground i have never done anything in my life that we are still stereo typed and we have to watch ourselves that we wont fall vicitims to hate because of the color of our skin god has blessed me to come out of this ok do to the prayers of people that no my integrity im sorry for the mistake and letting the florissant communtiy down and my family please forgive me we are human and mistakes will happen to the best of us accidents wiil happen but that doesnt make a person a arsonist by admiting to an accident i have worked as a police chapiln I have received a proclamation from the mayor of alton i have a fund that was started to help childen to go to college that gives them money and a car for school and many more things as well i would not have intentionally set fire to my business i love florisant god bless!!!.
stacey August 30, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Ummm, who and which comment said ANYTHING about the color of your skin sir? That sounds like a cop out to me, sorry. I would never plead guilty to ARSON for an accident to also sounds fishy, BUT regardless your very lucky so someone has your back whether it be God or a person in a high place in our judicial system. Regardless, this was NOT your property and $1000 and no jail time for whatever took place, arson is arson, and pleading guilty means arson as well. Who knows, I sure don't but pray the people and community are wrong and repaid for your accident because I doubt you'll get another slap on the wrist


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