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Youth Gets Life Sentence for Setting Jewish Center Afire in Which 12 Perished

A sentence of life imprisonment was imposed here yesterday on Thomas A. Ruppert, 18, for starting a fire in the Yonkers Jewish Community Center in December 1965 which killed nine children and three adults. The youth was found guilty on 24 overlapping counts of first degree murder and one count of first degree arson in the fatal blaze.

Westchester County Judge Robert E. Dempsey imposed 24 life sentences for the deaths and sentence of 10 to 25 years for the arson. The 25 terms are to be served concurrently. The youth protested, after the sentencing, that he was innocent. His lawyer, Mrs. Eleanor Jackson Piel, told Judge Dempsey she would appeal the sentences.