Jay Teen, 14, Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison For Trying Kill Neighbor In Fire

December 5, 2018

A Jay 14-year old has been sentenced to 15 years in state prison for a setting a fire at his neighbor’s home in an attempt to kill the occupant.

Circuit Judge David Rimmer also sentenced Ethan Alexander Marsh-Hual to 10 years probation following the completion of his prison term. Marsh-Hual entered a plea to attempted first degree premeditated murder with a weapon, burglary of an occupied dwelling causing damage over $1,000, arson, and burglary of an unoccupied conveyance.

During the early morning hours of March 17, 2018, Marsh-Hual entered the garage of his neighbor’s residence near Jay and set a fire next to the interior wall of the residence while the occupants were inside asleep. After setting the fire, he piled multiple items on the fire, including a gas can and a propane tank. He then entered the attic intending to set a fire there as well, however, he was unable to start a fire due to the amount of smoke.

After hearing a noise near the door, he fled and returned home. One of the occupants of the residence discovered the fire about 3:30 a.m. He opened the garage door, observed the fire and emptied a fire extinguisher on it before putting out the fire with a garden hose. The Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office and State Fire Marshal’s Office investigated the fire.

The teen told investigators that he had become friends with a juvenile neighbor and the two had gotten into a fight. The individual allegedly told others at school that he threw up on his mailbox and made fun of him. Marsh-Haul told investigators that he went bed at 10:30 p.m. and set his alarm for midnight. After his alarm went off, he said he went out of his window and lit a propane tank on fire inside the home. He told investigators that he had been planning it for several weeks.

Marsh-Hual was charged as an adult after being indicted by a grand jury.


62 Responses to “Jay Teen, 14, Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison For Trying Kill Neighbor In Fire”

  1. Carson on June 21st, 2019 11:43 pm

    The court judge is not making common sense. It’s just wrong for an underaged child or 13 to 14 yr old for going to adult prision. It’s just wrong. It’s just like taking his education away plus. He need education not adult jail. The law and legislature and the court judge needs to grow up they all are not making common sense.

  2. FaithinUS on December 9th, 2018 10:59 pm

    What a thoroughly horrible situation- at just FOURTEEN, there’s no real sense of What Comes Next when scheming to hurt someone or do any other stupid thing kids do. Guess there’s no such thing as psychiatric care for troubled teens any more? This boy obviously is in need of it.
    Just what kind of person do you ‘Lock Him Up!’ folks expect him to be after the years of sexual abuse he’ll suffer in adult prison- and then is released back into society??

  3. John on December 8th, 2018 9:50 pm

    If this boy was never bullied the boy he targeted, he may have never committed a crime in his life.

  4. John on December 8th, 2018 9:48 pm

    He’s not evil. He is a child, and should go to juvenile detention until 18 and then maybe 5 to 10 years probation. That’s fair. His mind wasn’t and isn’t fully developed. If he was being bullied, maybe he got some bad ideas and acted on them, but nobody died. Everyone’s ok. And the boy who bullied him is walking free, unpunished, while this poor boy’s life and his family’s is just ruined.

  5. Wendy R Doggett on December 8th, 2018 9:37 pm

    This boy needs a loving family to help him through life!! Bullying has been around for decades!! We need to be open and receptive as a community to issues such as this. He may have felt no one was listening and believing him and finally took matters into his own hands. Most kid these days choose suicide. We just need to be more open, supportive, loving, caring and understanding! 15 years is WAY too much for someone so young!!

  6. David Huie Green on December 8th, 2018 4:47 pm

    “Everyone including him say he should do time and he was wrong, but 170 is a bit much”


    130 should be enough.

    David for effectiveness

  7. john on December 8th, 2018 10:57 am

    @Dallas Cody.

    Could you please elaborate more about psychological effects?

    Also: please include your credentials so that us little people here on this forum may be able to grasp your point of view.

    Also: a solution to the problem would be great, thank you.

  8. Jerry on December 8th, 2018 12:36 am

    15 years is so sad for someone his age, it sounds like he really needed mental help

  9. Dallas Cody on December 7th, 2018 8:47 am

    Understanding how psychological effects works is very hard for people with such a narrow mindset.

  10. Jennifer on December 7th, 2018 5:34 am

    Sad whe a child gets bullied enough that the only way out is murder. It is also sad that parents are not teaching kids to have thicker skin. Bullying has been going on since I was a kid and I got bullied as a kid but I never once thought of causing harm to the nes that bullied me. They got their pay back when I grew out of that stage. Praying for that was involved

  11. Really on December 6th, 2018 10:22 pm

    Cantonment and nod I totally agree with you. For all that think this is to harsh of a punishment for a 14 yr old you sure would not be saying that if he attempted to kill you or anyone in your family. He knew what he was doing therefore he deserves the punishment he gets. Quit patting these kids on the back and giving them excuses why they did something. It’s people like you who have caused society to be wimps. No the Judge nor State failed this kid. This was the path he chose to take. No one made him do it. He consciously made that decision on his own.

  12. john on December 6th, 2018 9:25 pm

    One of the first US servicemen in Afghanistan to die in combat was killed by a 14 year old sniper.


    So….does 15 years still seem too excessive?

    What if the judge had the power to execute him, would 15 years still seem excessive?

    What if you were asked to take him into your home, and rehabilitate him, would 15 years seem excessive?

  13. David Huie Green on December 6th, 2018 9:02 pm

    I would not like to be murdered regardless of the age of my killer.

    I should not let others be murdered.

    Maybe he will grow out of it in time. He won’t be killing any of you for a while, so that’s something at least.

    David for better children

  14. histbuff on December 6th, 2018 8:55 pm

    The judge should be commended. This “child” was adult enough to attempt to murder his neighbors, and would have been successful had they not become awakened. The purpose of prison is not to rehabilitate. It is to punish. For those who think he should receive taxpayer-funded mental health services: YOU pay for it if you want, leave the rest of us alone.

  15. pencil on December 6th, 2018 8:12 pm

    This case reminds me of Ronald L Sanford, the 13 year old boy and a 15 year old accomplice committed a double murder of 2 elderly women they went to rob in 1987. At 15 he was tried as an adult, found guilty and given a sentence of 170 years in the Indiana State Prison.

    Everyone including him say he should do time and he was wrong, but 170 is a bit much when i’ve seen people even in Escambia out in less than 10 years for murder.

    This is a cautionary tale and is very similar to how the opioid addicts suddenly get treatment instead of prison now that the shoe is on the other foot. 30 years with no parole is an adequate sentence for killing someone and half of that for trying and failing. We need common sense laws and sentences for all.

  16. Unjust or Common? on December 6th, 2018 8:01 pm

    I agree the sentence does not equal the crime. I also agree, that this sentence is not what this child needs. He obviously needs to to be locked away somewhere where he can receive mental health treatment so that someday he can reenter society as a productive citizen of society. I also agree that young children of color of the same age regularly receive these types of sentences for crimes that could have caused death and/or property damage and no one ever seems to care….

  17. Donna on December 6th, 2018 5:34 pm

    If he would have killed himself then you would we go after the bully but he choose to go after the bully himself
    Sad when children feel there’s no stopping being bullied no way out
    So easy to blames this boy so easy to write good and bad comments
    My question is where was this boys family teachers all these stand up citizen when he was being bullied and couldn’t find help or answers
    Teach you children to talk about life and talk about life with your children
    And then maybe they’ll make better choices

    Ps I guess if he would of threaten to blow them up instead he’d be writing a letter !!!just sayin

  18. Baby Girl on December 6th, 2018 3:55 pm

    To “Good Grief”,what you said is the exact way I feel………

  19. Stumpknocker on December 6th, 2018 2:55 pm

    Very few like the way the courts handles cases like this one and are outraged with the sentence. I’m just wondering why the same outrage is not directed to his parents or family and friends. Those are the ones who let him down, the best way to be satisfied with your treatment by the courts is to stay out of them and get your family or friends the help they may need and don’t rely on society to take over your responsibilities.

  20. D.P. on December 6th, 2018 1:01 pm

    @ Nod -A good butt whipping does not cure mental illness nor does it help with bullying when your the one being bullied.@ Amanda well said!

  21. chris on December 6th, 2018 12:13 pm

    “This boy is still a child. Church going child.” ummm, I don’t think the words of Jesus stuck with this one. But the blood of Jesus will forgive him.

  22. john on December 6th, 2018 11:00 am

    No one realizes we have replaced willful actions in the attempt to sooth are conscience in wrongdoings with some man-made disorder. There is something wrong with man and that is called evil. We all thank we are good using our own standard, but there is a problem, our standards really don’t have any value compared to Gods….His standard of judgement declared us all as evil.

    (Matthew 7:11 KJV) If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

    Jesus’s words concerning man.

  23. JDR on December 6th, 2018 10:47 am

    Congratulations to our Court system, they just created another person who the taxpayers will have to take care of for life. Why you ask?? Well they are sending a child to prison for 15 years, he will get out with good behavior by late 20’s. He will have missed a crucial part of his development, most likely be Institutionalized will not be able to function in everyday society and re-offend over and over again. A better punishment would have been a stay in a juvenile facility with hardcore serious rehab and behavior modification. But because we have so many marshmallows in our society today you cant do hardcore behavior modification because that would be unethical and cruel. So the answer was to lock him up as an adult which is he far from, and forget about him for 15 years turn him out with a bus ticket and send him on his way. Way to go!!! Our court system is doing such a wonderful job…**insert sarcasm, and eye roll here**

  24. Linda on December 6th, 2018 10:13 am

    This is a very serious crime and should have serious consequences. However the age of 14 and adult prison don’t go together. I can see 10 years at a younger facility and having extensive counseling and then 10 years probation. But not to be put in an adult prison. Many young people have actually killed someone and have not gone to adult prison. He is a very disturbed young man and needs much help and also needs very stern punishment. But please consider his age!!

  25. Little C on December 6th, 2018 10:09 am

    This person might only be 14, but he knew exactly what he was doing. His intention was to kill these people for goodness sakes! Besides, he will not serve the full 15 years, probably will get out in 8. The judge did the right thing, Ethan must pay the price for his actions. Hopefully this will be an example for other kids who think they can get away with anything.

  26. bartender on December 6th, 2018 9:56 am

    alot of people disagree with the verdit but what id he kill the people,what would you say then.poor lil kid.if he set his alarm clock did that mean he didnt intend to do harm.hope they find out the real truth.if he had problems then why didnt the parents know something?

  27. Terry B on December 6th, 2018 9:53 am

    @Ashlee, you’re kidding right? The kid is a danger to society and at 14, he knew exactly what he was doing. It takes a very methodical and calculating individual to go through the steps he did and he had the intention of killing an entire family. This wasn’t an incident of slashing some tires or spray painting the side of a house but use explosive material to start a fire and attempt an additional in the attic? Sorry, but the pycho kid needs to be locked up since we recognize he has the marking of a future Charlie Manson.

  28. Amanda on December 6th, 2018 9:51 am

    Most of us aren’t thinking about the part where he could’ve succeeded. The fact is he didn’t! It didn’t even get out of the garage…why??? Because he is a child. If he would’ve been an adult like he was tried as, then maybe he would’ve succeeded in burning the place up a little bit. It’s sad really the kids never going to be anything but intstitutionalized and end up spending his life in prison. It’s pitiful, really. Yeah I think if he would’ve succeeded in burning the house down then yeah he shouldve had steeper consiquences but he didn’t BECAUSE HES A CHILD! And I do know that some ppl at 14 are more grown than some 20 yo but that’s where “the experts” should’ve came in and determined that. Sometimes I don’t think the right decisions are made in these situations.

  29. just sayin on December 6th, 2018 9:32 am

    Parents are frowned upon or unwilling to punish children these days. A good butt woopin from time to time is great medicine and goes a long ways towards leading one down the straight and narrow. Now days the court system and now prison is taking the place of old fashion parental discipline. An ounce of prevention is worth 15 years of cure.

  30. My2Cents on December 6th, 2018 8:44 am

    Kids of color get harsh sentences like this all of the time. No compassion is seen then.

    This kid PLANNED to do this. He wanted to kill them and probably would have if he hadn’t been overcome by smoke in the attic. I think the sentence fits but he should be evaluated for any mental illnesses. This is not normal.

  31. Klondike Kid on December 6th, 2018 8:42 am

    I see the hang ‘em high crowd is out in force. I’m as conservative as one can get but this kid needed to go to a mental institution like Chatahoochee used to be when I was young. Sending him to the 24 & younger youthful offender camps , is effectively turning him into a lifelong criminal who’ll be in & out of prison his whole life. The YO camps are called Gladiator camps or Jitterbug camps , have to fight every day & risk being molested if not a fighter. I know this as I have a son that went , Rimmer knows this too.

  32. j on December 6th, 2018 8:31 am

    Judge David Rimmer was the lead prosecutor of the King brothers many years ago. He certainly has experience dealing with teens and violent crime. He took a lot of heat for convicting them as adults as well. This young man got the wrong judge if he was indeed guilty.

  33. Concerned on December 6th, 2018 8:21 am

    This boy is still a child. Church going child. People do worse and get shorter time. He needs help. Not to be put with harden criminals. People need to write letters and contact people. Even President of needed. There is no way a 13 yr old could have been thinking rational. What about the bully.

  34. Ashlee on December 6th, 2018 7:43 am

    Wow, you ppl have no right to judge no matter which side your on my god be with him his family, and the victims. Help would be a good start verses lock him away until he’s way old enough to be called an adult. Prison is sure to make him worse, institutionalized, maybe even more mental issues after the time spent alone and the abuse he will face. Congrats Florida judge Rimmer you have cover your and the states ass once again, but at what point will you try to help. SMH God bless prayers for Ethan

  35. M in Bratt on December 6th, 2018 7:35 am

    @All the Bleeding Hearts; None of you know what other history this Grand Jury and Judge saw when they passed sentence. This type of behavior is rarely “rehabilitated”, and offenders statistically will re offend and escalate their behavior. Do any of you really want this guy for a neighbor?

  36. Calvinqualls on December 6th, 2018 7:26 am

    Did anyone see if the child was capable to stand trial he might just have a mental disorder and was being bullied so he thought he was getting back at the one that was bullieing him not realizing the seriousness of the crime he committed on the other hand he could have brought an AR 15 to school and a lot of kids could have lost there life me in my opinion I think the punishment is a little harsh considering his age my opinion

  37. just sayin on December 6th, 2018 7:10 am

    Man! The judges cant catch a break from the northescambia readers. One day the judges are all wrong for issuing what the reader expert feels is to light of a sentence and the next day some of the same judicial experts complain that the sentence is to harsh. You cant have your cake and eat it to.

  38. Duke of Wawbeek on December 6th, 2018 7:08 am

    Citizenry sleeping better in Jay tonight.

  39. Good grief on December 6th, 2018 5:44 am

    This was not an impulse, this was premeditated. He set his alarm to get up and go do this. He had plenty of time to change his mind, he didn’t. This boy doesn’t have mental issues, he has heart issues. Murder was in his heart, that’s evil. This boy, as we all do, needs Jesus. Hopefully while he’s locked up someone will bring him the Gospel and he repents and accepts the Lord as his Savior. Only Jesus can turn this boy’s life around.

  40. Tom on December 5th, 2018 10:34 pm

    Would you say he was judge to harsh if it was you or your loved ones that he planned out and committed this too?

  41. Stephen on December 5th, 2018 10:29 pm

    For everyone who is condescending the sentence,what if this was your house he tried to burn.And you, he tried to kill. And if they slapped him on the wrist,and it was you next time? 50,50 chance he will reform. We will find out in 15 years.

  42. Nikki on December 5th, 2018 10:16 pm

    Would y’all be saying the same thing if he would have actually killed the occupant?

  43. np630ss on December 5th, 2018 10:10 pm

    Child huh? I have news for you – at 14 he is old enough to know right from wrong. He KNEW what he was attempting to do was wrong and he carried out his PLAN. What you have here is NOT a child, but a budding sociopath. Fail to lock him up and he WILL try again, and again and again. It is the way his brain is “wired”. There is no “rehabilitating” him. There is only protecting the public FROM him.

  44. For real on December 5th, 2018 10:05 pm

    The worst prison and the toughest prison is a juvenile prison.this kid is going to experience the worst abuse that he couls imagine. Adults get away with raping kids and robbing banks and get a lot less time.he needs help not prison. This kid will go ro whats called the y o priso. And there gong to do everything under the sun to him.is this really how you help a14 yr ols kid. Our prison systems are so flawed and corrupt this will make a true threat too society when his time is served
    It’s all about money not to help the more incarcerated the more money judges politicians cops get from tax payers

  45. Mark on December 5th, 2018 9:52 pm

    He should have been charged as a child because he is a child.

  46. nod on December 5th, 2018 9:34 pm

    Kelly, my grandson was nineteen and got life without parole for attempted murder and it was his first offence of any kind,. 15 years is not too much. whip his butt and he will laugh and think he can get away with anything. DP, the judge and the state did not fail this kid, his parents did.

  47. Cantonment on December 5th, 2018 9:16 pm

    Guarantee that if that premeditated attempted murder turned into premeditated first degree murder not a single person on here would contest the ruling.

    Just because the kid didn’t succeed doesn’t mean he shouldn’t face just punishment.

  48. Brwildered on December 5th, 2018 9:11 pm

    Not too long ago another teenager in Milton killed himself because of bullying. The kid who started the fire tried to kill his tormenter. Either way both teens obviously had serious underlying mental issues. Both felt helpless and were willing to go to any extreme to get out of a hopeless situation. The bully in Jay and the one in Milton who set these tragedies in motion need to do some serious soul searching! I am glad I don’t have either boy’s ruined life on my conscience.

  49. Lol on December 5th, 2018 8:11 pm

    A kid doing something impulsive and stupid and he’s essentially been put to death for it. After 15 years in prison his mind will be so messed up he’ll never be able to have a normal life.

  50. John on December 5th, 2018 7:31 pm

    This child will never be able to overcome the punishment. What a horrifying failure of our justice system. This child needs mental health services and a chance for his mind to mature to adulthood, not be a sheep being thrown to the wolves. The judge needs to be reviewed and suspended as this is a disturbing lapse in judgement.

  51. Stephanie on December 5th, 2018 6:50 pm

    Are you serious “bartender”, he’s still a child. His mind is not mature enough to realise the long term consequences. Adult prison? You hope “Bubba” doesn’t get him, that’s a heartless comment. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but I can’t understand how you can post the things you said. He does deserve punishment, but like “Kelly” said, he’ll never overcome this. There’s no rehabilitation for this child in an adult prison, and for 15 years? Ridiculous!

  52. Stringbeanbaby on December 5th, 2018 6:35 pm

    Well now he’s about to go to Gladiator Academy.
    A sure nuff monster will have to be delt with when he’s released.

  53. Sage2 on December 5th, 2018 6:26 pm

    So very sad this boy and his family must endure this! Maybe a letter needs to be written relating to being a pyromaniac and sadist bend on causing bodily harm to others. The question remains, WHY?

  54. db on December 5th, 2018 6:20 pm

    a lot of time for a 14 year old. He’s gonna have rough time at those YO camps.
    He won’t be rehabilitated, just hardened and hateful. His age, size and demographic can guarantee fist fights at the least and most likely on the losing end….
    My heart breaks for his family.

  55. Carol on December 5th, 2018 5:33 pm

    The grand jury should not have indicted a 14 year old child as an adult. Shame on them.

  56. D.P. on December 5th, 2018 5:15 pm

    That is not how you rehabilitate an individual to become a productive citizen. Shame on the judge and state for failing the community and this kid.

  57. john on December 5th, 2018 5:12 pm

    Well….on the other hand, what if he was successful in burning down that home with the occupants inside, then what example are you showing other youngsters if you let him off lightly? I wonder if he will end up in general population? If he did what he did to get attention, he certainly will get more attention that he ever dreamed. He’s going to wish you never set that alarm clock.

  58. Karen on December 5th, 2018 3:44 pm

    The young face of evil!

  59. Kelly on December 5th, 2018 3:31 pm

    I could not disagree more bartender. While I am all for whipping the kids butt with a belt, sending him to prison for 15 years is a ridiculous sentence and a much too severe punishment. When he is released he will be a real dangerous animal to contend with. I worked for 25 years in Florida’s prisons and rose to the rank of Colonel. I am by no means a liberal person and fully believe in holding people accountable for their behavior. This child will never be able to overcome the punishment.

  60. bartender on December 5th, 2018 3:06 pm

    what has our kids become to these days.as a 14 yr old you would think he would have been a kid into games or hunting but murder omg how awful.i can imagine what his parents are going through.sad to say but he should be treated as an adult.when we were that age we got our butt tore up for talking back.now what can you do.you whip a kid and you go to jail.so sad the way some kids turn out.he should not be treated as a child either.the inmates should scare the crap out of him.hope big bubba dont get a chance at him

  61. Mary on December 5th, 2018 2:59 pm

    Lord God have mercy on this child!! People please pray for this child, & our youth in general. Behavior such as this should not be a normal reaction from our children.

  62. chris on December 5th, 2018 2:25 pm

    he’s gonna grow up real fast.

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