THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Final Pair In County Arson Case Guilty
The final two persons involved in the June 6, 2011 arson fire of a home of one in the Town of Stephenson were found guilty Tuesday, Aug. 20, by Marinette County Circuit Court Judge David Miron.
All three have been found guilty of a felony charge of arson of a building with intent to defraud the insurance company.
Found guilty were Jessica Ann Miller, 37, and her boyfriend, Donald A. Halbur Jr., 32, both of W11016 High Falls Road, Crivitz. The pair along with Drew Steven Christensen, 28, Highway Z, Suring, were convicted of burning the home of Miller so that she could collect the insurance money. Pre-sentence investigations have been ordered.
Miller and Halbur will be sentenced separately on Oct. 11 by Judge Miron, Halbur at 1 p.m. and Miller at 2 p.m. Both had been scheduled to have trials on Tuesday, Aug. 20, when they changed their pleas to no contest and were found guilty. Christensen will be sentenced on Nov. 14 at 9 a.m.
All three will be required to pay a total of $267,263.43 in restitution to Allstate Insurance that was defrauded when Miller collected the insurance on her destroyed home.
While their cases in Marinette County are ending, all three still face federal charges in U.S. District Court Eastern District, Green Bay.
The case in Marinette County was prosecuted by District Attorney Allen Brey. He is recommending that Miller be sentenced to five years in prison plus five years of extended supervision.
For Halbur the recommendation will be 2 1/2 years in prison and three years of extended supervision. For Christensen a recommendation would be for 10 years in prison and five years extended supervision. The recommendations do not have to be followed by Judge Miron. The maximum sentence could be a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for not more than 40 years or both.
In the federal case all three face a charge of arson of a building used in interstate commerce in a fire Mar. 19, 2012 at the Jaded Bar, 10702 County Road Z, Bagley which Miller owned. She had purchased the bar with insurance funds she received in the arson burning of her home in the Town of Stephenson in Marinette County. Miller is also charged with mail fraud for allegedly mailing a personal loss claim of $26,000 to Auto Owners Insurance.
Miller and Halbur will have their trial on Nov. 4.
Christensen has pled guilty to the federal charge of arson of the bar and the Mar. 2012 fire at the Klondike Community Church and Everbreeze Bar in Mountain, all in Oconto County. He will be sentenced Nov. 13. His sentence had been delayed as he agreed to testify against Miller and Halbur at their trials.
Christensen will also be sentenced in Oconto County Circuit Court on another arson charge of arson on Nov. 18. The fires were of a trailer and a garage.
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