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The Roaring Lion Fire Trial Has Been Delayed In Hopes Of Reaching A Settlement

photo by Mike Daniels
Photo Courtesy of Mike Daniels

Four Hamilton residents were charged with starting a wildfire last summer that caused a significant amount of damage. Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright says everyone involved was hoping to delay the start date of the trial.

“Yesterday, three of the defendants and myself, we all appeared in front of the judge and expressed the joint desire to have the trial moved out a little bit,” said Fulbright. “It was scheduled for July 31. There has been a lot of work going in to it on all the parties and it looks like it is going to get reset in September.”

According to Fulbright, defense attorneys and prosecutors asked the judge for an extension in an effort to negotiate a settlement.

“We told the judge first of all it is a complex case of course and so it takes a while for everybody to get ready and on the same page,” Fulbright said. “We told the judge we are continuing to explore potentials to resolve it short of trial so we wanted more time for that.”

The Roaring Lion fire last summer burned 13 square miles of land, 16 homes and cost $11 million before it was finally extinguished. Steven Banks, Tyler Landon Johnson, Cody Knez and a 16-year-old girl are all charged with felony and misdemeanor negligent arson.

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