THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
First Man Found Guilty In County Arson Case
One of three persons charged with a felony count of arson of a building in the Town of Stephenson on June 6, 2011 with intent to defraud an insurance company was found guilty Thursday, Aug. 8, by Marinette County Circuit Court Judge David Miron.
A pre-sentence investigation was ordered for Drew Steven Christensen, 28, 10691 Highway Z, Suring and a sentencing date set for Nov. 14. The sentencing is delayed until disposition of a federal case against Christensen.
Also charged in the Marinette County case are Jessica Ann Miller, 37, W11016 High Falls Road, Crivitz and her boyfriend, Donald A. Halbur Jr., 32, same address.
Miller is scheduled to have a 12 person jury trial Aug. 20-22 and has rejected a plea deal. Halbur is scheduled to have a one day jury trial on Aug. 20. Both trials are with Judge Miron presiding.
All three are charged with arson of the home of Miller at W9616 Schroeder Lane, Crivitz in the Town of Stephenson. According to the complaint Miller owed more on her home than what it could be sold for. She collected $266,781 from the insurance firm of which some was used to purchase the Jaded Bar in the Town of Bagley in Oconto County. Christensen agreed to burn the home.
All three also face federal charges filed in the U.S. District Court Eastern District, Green Bay.
Christensen, a former member of the Town of Brazeau Volunteer Fire Department, has pled guilty to arson of a building used in interstate commerce regarding the Klondike Community Church and two taverns in Oconto County, one of which was owned by Miller known as the Jaded Bar.
His sentencing has been delayed until after the federal trials of Miller and Halbur where he will testify. The trials are scheduled for Nov. 4. Both had pled not guilty to charges of arson of a building on May 19, 2012 used in interstate commerce, the Jaded Bar, where MIller is alleged to have insured the bar and contents with a limit of $26,000 for personal property and living expenses. Miller is also charged with mail fraud for allegedly mailing a personal loss claim to Auto Owners Insurance for the fire.