A man who took part in an arson spree that destroyed a church and homes — causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage — has been sentenced to one year in jail.
Judge Donovan Dvorak said the blazes put firefighters and other property at risk.
“Arsons are very dangerous. Their potential for loss of life is great,” Dvorak said.
Collin Nathaniel Chaske, 24, was sentenced on Monday in Brandon court for his role in a series of fires on the Canupawakpa Dakota Nation last summer.
He pleaded guilty to five counts of arson and breach of probation for failing to keep the peace.
Four homes and an abandoned church were destroyed between July 5 and Aug. 28, for a total of $550,000 in damage.
Specifically, Chaske admitted that he set a fire that destroyed an abandoned home. The blaze caused $20,000 in damage.
And while he didn’t set the fires himself, he also admitted to playing a part in setting three other homes and the church ablaze. The church wasn’t insured.
Crown attorney Rich Lonstrup said Chaske would stand lookout or take part as an “encouraging party.”
Only one of the houses was lived in at the time it was burned, but the resident wasn’t home at the time.
Another house was under construction when it was torched.
No one was injured in the fires.
Lonstrup said Chaske has Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, which would have played a role in the crimes.
Lonstrup noted FASD impacts decision-making, impulse control and empathy.
Dvorak sentenced Chaske to a total of one year in jail, but subtracted 145 days time served for pre-sentence custody.
The jail term will be followed by two years of probation.
Two other men still face charges in relation to the fires.