Mandarin High Students: Smoking Marijuana Led to Fire | Crime

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Mandarin High Students: Smoking Marijuana Led to Fire
Crime, Schools
Mandarin High Students: Smoking Marijuana Led to Fire

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- One of the two Mandarin High School students arrested for arson said they had gone under the football stadium to smoke marijuana, according to police.

The fire broke out under the stadium on March 3, causing nearly $200,000 in damage to the stadium, a classroom and some sports equipment.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the students, 15-year-old Darrell Lamont Jones Jr. and 16-year-old Keith Devon Graham Jr.,  went under the stadium to smoke marijuana at about 7:30 that morning.

At one point, according to statements the suspects gave police, they started daring each other to strike matches and throw them on high jump cushions that were stored nearby.

They caught on fire, and the suspects said they then sprayed cologne on the cushions.

When the fire grew, Jones said he tried to extinguish it with a broom, but they both left the area when the fire got out of hand.

There were students in a nearby classroom, also under the stadium, at the time of the fire.

The suspects said they ran toward the other students in an effort to blend in.

The fire caused an estimated $150,000 damage to the stadium, $22,000 to a riding lawn mower and over $20,000 damage to sports equipment.

Jones and Graham each face a felony charge of arson to a structure where persons are normally present.

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