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Tag Archive | "arson"

Man pleads guilty in horse barn fire


 

Payton Mellama

Payton Mellama, 20, of Lowell, pled guilty this week to Arson 3rd degree and animal cruelty for a fire he started at a Lowell barn that caused the death of 13 horses and significant damage to the propery.

Mellama was a neighbor who had previously volunteered at the Center for Equine Learning, which was operated out of the barn. Mellama had a long history of mental health and behavioral issues.

After months of investigation, by the Kent County Sheriff’s Dept., in cooperation with the Kent county Prosecutor’s office, Mellama admitted his involvement in a statement to investigators during the course of plea negotiations. The parties entered into a plea agreement, designed to protect the community while still addressing the defendant’s circumstances. The man points of the agreement are:

  1. He will serve a 5-year-term of probations, with no early release or attempts to seek release.
  2. He will be continually housed and treated for the first three years at a residential facility with may include electronic tethering..
  3. Mellama will have no contact with victims or property, nor with the property he currently lives on,

This agreement ensures that the defendant will be housed in a secured facility for at least three years and receive the treatment he needs.

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Greenville fire deemed arson


The Greenville Department of Public safety announced this week that a house fire that occurred at 313 E. Cass Street in Greenville on January 13 is being treated as an arson. PSO Jamie Sorsen, lead investigator in the case, determined that the fire was intentionally set on the second floor.
The Greenville Department of Public Safety responded to the house fire on E. Cass Street, at about 5:55 a.m., January 13. Officers Casey Huber and Erik Hoig, and firefighter Tom Miller rescued an occupant from the second floor of the residence assisted by Officer Cole. He was later identified as Dennis R. Vanderzand, 65.  An 83-year-old woman was also assisted from the residence. Initial dispatch information available to investigators indicated Vanderzand claimed the second person in the residence started his clothes on fire in his bedroom.
Both individuals were transported to West Michigan hospitals for treatment and evaluation. Sgt. Brian Blomstrom initially investigated the scene and interviewed individuals at the scene of the fire; a search warrant was then executed on the residence in order to determine the origin and cause of the fire.
“Investigations of this detail take time and extensive training,” said Blomstrom. “Acquiring measurements, capturing photographs, conducting interviews, reconstructing the scene, and analyzing all possible fire ignition sources into account are all part of a complete investigation. Having an internal specialized team available to perform these duties is very beneficial to the department and the community.”
Both Sgt. Blomstrom and PSO Sorsen investigated the fire within the structure.  The result of the entire investigation as a whole led PSO Sorsen to rule the fire was intentionally set in the upstairs bedroom of the house.
Once the entire report is completed and finalized, it will be sent to the Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office for review regarding arson-related charges.

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Woman arrested for arson


Tasha Fisher

The fire was already out when the Cedar Springs Fire Department responded to the scene at 13360 Darcy Circle. It turned out that the fire was intentionally set.

A Cedar Springs woman was arrested over the weekend for the arson of mobile home fire early last week.
The Cedar Springs Fire Department responded to the scene of a mobile home fire on Monday September 12, about 3:05 p.m., at 13360 Darcy Circle, in Northland Estates Mobile Home Park, near Northland Drive and 16 Mile Road.
Cedar Springs police officer Sgt. Ed Good investigated and learned that a maintenance worker for the mobile home park noticed smoke coming from inside the home and extinguished the fire with a power washer before the fire department arrived. The fire was contained to a small area of one room, within the mobile home.
The fire investigation indicated that the cause of fire and location within the mobile home appeared suspicious.  The scene was secured and an arson investigator, Sgt. Stormzand, with the Michigan State Police, assisted. His initial findings indicated a liquid accelerant was involved.
The investigation resulted in the arrest of Tasha Anika-Juanita Fisher, 25, of Cedar Springs, who had recently been evicted from the home through a court action. She was arrested on Sunday, September 18, and arraigned in 63rd District Court for arson of a dwelling, a 20-year felony. She received a $4,000 cash/surety bond and her preliminary exam was set for September 29 at 2:15 p.m.

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Man arrested for mobile home fire


Brent Robert Koelsch has been charged with arson and home invasion for setting fire to a mobile home in Cedar Springs last year.

A former Cannon Township resident has been charged with setting the fire that destroyed a mobile home at Cedar Springs Mobile Estates last summer.

According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, the fire broke out about midnight June 26, 2010, at 368 Allan Street. Witnesses said a man arrived at the mobile home just before midnight, reportedly yelling and kicking in the door. Soon after, the man exited the mobile home and fled. Witnesses saw flames shortly after and called the fire department.

No one was home at the time of the fire.

The 14 X 70 1992 Patriot mobile home was a total loss.  State Police Fire Investigator Gregory J. Stormzand assisted Cedar Springs PD with the fire investigation, and confirmed it was arson.

Upon investigation, police found that the owner, a 38-year-old Cedar Springs man, had a brief encounter with a person earlier in the night, who he felt had broken into his home and started the fire. After reviewing evidence, the prosecutor issued a two-count warrant for Brent Robert Koelisch, 40, of Cannon Township. Investigators were told he left the state within days of the fire.

On Tuesday, August 30, the Cedar Springs Police were notified that Koelisch had been picked up on a traffic stop by the Ottawa County Sheriff Department and was being held in the Ottawa County jail on the two warrants.

Koelish was transferred to the Kent County Jail and arraigned on Wednesday, August 31 in 63rd District Court on one count of arson of a dwelling, and one count of home invasion. He was given a $50,000 cash/surety bond. He posted bond and was released pending a preliminary exam on September 12 at 10 a.m.

 

 

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