Jury Finds Allen Thomas Guilty - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Jury Finds Allen Thomas Guilty


A jury finds the man accused of setting a fire that burned down the Lone Steer Motel in Steele guilty on all nineteen counts.

The trial of 51-year-old Allen Thomas wrapped up this afternoon.

The man from Houston, is accused of setting a mattress on fire outside of his motel room--which ultimately caused the entire business to burn down.

No one was hurt in the fire but it displaced about two dozen people and destroyed the property.

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

Today fire investigators testified that this was an intentional fire--and that the defendant was spotted on surveillance video across the street... leaving the motel, minutes after the fire started.

After listening to around 19 witnesses closing statements were given this afternoon.


<<"it's pretty plain and simple, he torched this place, he did this knowing that all the other guests in the hotel, including the owners, were asleep in their beds, taking showers making coffee or sitting around in their bathrobes watching TV." says Eric Hetland, Kidder Co. State's Attorney.

"Where's the evidence of him lighting this fire? Are we to that point of beyond reasonable doubt, is there a possibility that he didn't do this, is there that possibility that this was an accident?" asks Jason Butts, Defense Attorney.>>

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

Sentencing will take place at a later date.

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