Youth not ready to plead on arson charge

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A 17-year-old male youth charged with arson in connection with a fire north of High Prairie in August, had his matter called in High Prairie youth court last week.

The youth, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, did not appear when the matter was spoken to Nov. 2.

Instead, duty counsel Harry Jong spoke as an agent for lawyer Derek Renzini, who requested the matter be set over for one week to Nov. 9 for plea.

The teen and Brett Blackhurst, 23, of High Prairie, are charged with arson after a bulldozer was torched Aug. 24 on the Peavine Metis Settlement.

Blackhurst is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 16 for plea. He first reserved plea Oct. 26.

“High Prairie RCMP attended and efforts to extinguish the fire were unsuccessful,” says Cpl. Deanna Fontaine, media relations officer, Western Alberta District RCMP.

Later, the High Prairie Fire Department arrived and extinguished the fire.

Damage was estimated at $500,000.

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