Lone Steer Motel Arson Trial Begins - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Lone Steer Motel Arson Trial Begins

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The man accused of setting the Lone Steer motel on fire heads to trial.

Allen Thomas is charged with one count of arson and 18 counts of endangerment by fire.

He pled not guilty to the charge in November.

After jury selection Monday morning--the first day of his trial began in Kidder County in the afternoon.

The Lone Steer Motel burned to the ground just over a year ago.

The man accused of setting the fire is on trial starting Monday.

51-year-old Allen Thomas of Texas is charged with one count of arson and 18 counts of endangerment by fire.

He's accused of setting the Lone Steer motel on fire and threatening the lives of those who were staying at the motel August 12th, 2012.

Opening statements were made Monday afternoon

The state's attorney says that the act was done out of anger, while Mr. Thomas' defense attorney says if jurors pay attention to details in witness testimony, they will find his client not guilty.

It should be mentioned that no one in the fire was injured, however the owner of the motel, says that his family is a victim because they lost everything.

When asked whether he was suing Mr. Thomas in civil court, he responded, not yet.

Each of the 19 charges carries a ten year maximum sentence.

If convicted, Thomas faces a maximum of 190 years.

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