AUGUSTA — A 20-year-old will spend an initial 2 1/2 years behind bars for destroying a landmark Gardiner mill in a spectacular fire on Sept. 2, 2009, but he won’t pay any of the more than $100,000 restitution.

Jack Russell Downs, of Gardiner, was sentenced Monday in Kennebec County Superior Court to a total of 10 years in prison, with all but 2 1/2 years suspended and four years’ probation.

He had pleaded guilty July 9 in the same courtroom to one count each of arson and burglary related to the fire at the former Yorktowne Paper Mill, and to charges of criminal use of explosives and reckless conduct.

The latter two charges involve the May 31 throwing of a soda acid bomb into a swimming hole at Cobbossee Stream, Manchester.

The bottle bomb incident occurred while Downs was out on bail on the arson charge.

While the sentence was negotiated prior to the guilty plea, Tuesday’s sentencing hearing involved the state’s request for restitution.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Donald Alexander ruled that Downs had no ability to pay restitution for the fire damage. He suggested those who suffered losses in the fire seek a judgment in civil court against Downs.

Downs’ attorney, Kevin Sullivan, argued that Downs could not afford to pay any restitution. Sullivan said Downs’ sole income is from Social Security since he is legally blind. Sullivan said Down’s income is so low he cannot afford glasses or contacts to provide some correction for his vision.