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Jail time for Canupawakpa arsons

Brandon court house

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A Canupawakpa Dakota Nation man has pleaded guilty for his role in a series of fires that were apparently set for fun.

Crown attorney Rich Lonstrup said the blazes weren’t lit out of animosity toward anyone.

"It may simply have been done for the thrill of it, wanting to see the effects," Lonstrup said in Brandon provincial court.

Jared Elijiah Ivan Elk, 31, was one of three men charged in relation to a series of fires set at Canupawakpa last summer.

In total, four homes and an abandoned church were destroyed between July 5 and Aug. 28 with the damage amounting to $550,000.

On Thursday, Elk pleaded guilty to two counts of arson for two of the fires.

He admitted being present when a house was set alight on July 5, and when an abandoned church was set on fire on July 6.

The house, insured for $150,000, was being lived in at the time, but the resident wasn’t home. The $80,000 church wasn’t insured.

Elk didn’t admit to setting the blazes, but admitted to being present and that he didn’t try to stop the person who did.

Judge John Combs sentenced Elk to 240 days in jail, minus 168 days he’d already spent in pre-sentence custody, which left 72 days to serve. That will be followed by two years of probation.

Combs questioned why Elk would burn property in his own community.

"Your community is not a wealthy community," Combs said. "It’s not in a position to replace these kind of buildings."

Another man, Collin Nathaniel Chaske, previously pleaded guilty to five counts of arson and breach of probation. He was sentenced to one year in jail, minus 145 days presentence custody, to be followed by two years of probation.

He admitted to burning an abandoned home and to playing a part in setting three other homes and the church ablaze. One of the homes he admitted to playing a role in setting alight was the occupied home.

The third man still faces arson charges.

» ihitchen@brandonsun.com

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 7, 2014

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A Canupawakpa Dakota Nation man has pleaded guilty for his role in a series of fires that were apparently set for fun.

Crown attorney Rich Lonstrup said the blazes weren’t lit out of animosity toward anyone.

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A Canupawakpa Dakota Nation man has pleaded guilty for his role in a series of fires that were apparently set for fun.

Crown attorney Rich Lonstrup said the blazes weren’t lit out of animosity toward anyone.

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