Ex-LaSalle Co. state’s attorney’s wife sentenced for theft from church, arson

| September 26, 2010

OTTAWA — The wife of a former LaSalle County state’s attorney has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for theft from her church and arson.

Terri James, 42, of Ottawa was administrative assistant of First Congregational Church in Ottawa when more than $100,000 was found to have been charged to the church’s credit card.

Authorities told Judge H. Chris Ryan that in March, James burned the home of a church officer where records may have been kept.

A charge of attempted arson aimed at another church official’s property was dropped in the plea deal. The state asked for no more than 14 years, but she could have been sentenced to 45 years in prison.

She also has to pay $137,500 in restitution.

She is the wife of Mike James, who was chief county prosecutor from 1996 to 2000.



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