Arson case may not go to trial

Arson case may not go to trial

By: RIMA AUSTIN

Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune News Staff

Brent Alan Mack, 25, of Newell, has been charged with several crimes he is alleged to have committed in Sac County. On October 28, Sac County Attorney, Ben Smith, is scheduled to engage in a pre-trial conference with Mack’s attorney, Charles Schulte.

A pretrial conference is an opportunity for the defense council and the prosecutor to discuss potential plea offers,” stated Smith. “We always look for the possibility of settling. It will be explored in this case but I can’t know whether or not it will happen.”

Smith said he expects the additional charges on Mack in Buena Vista County might have an impact on whether or not the state decides to make the case go to trial before a jury. Mack has been charged with suspicion of crimes in Sac County for incidents that took place on or around August 19 of this year, according to court documents. On October 15 of this year, Mack was arrested on suspicion of first-degree felony arson, third-degree felony burglary and first-degree felony criminal mischief, for incidents that happened on or around September 13, 2017.

Newell Chief of Police, Justin Lyman, reported that on September 13 Newell Police and Fire Department were dispatched to 111 South Fulton where a structure was on fire. He said it was a total loss following the fire and response by emergency personnel. Lyman went on to allege that Mack had accessed the building prior to the fire and stole property, that he was in the area of the fire before the fire response, and that Mack claimed to have specific knowledge about the spread of the fire.

According to Buena Vista County Attorney, Paul Allen, Mack has two matters pending in BV. A probation revocation hearing is set for November 25, for impersonating an officer.

He has had an initial appearance (for suspicion) of arson, criminal mischief, and burglary,” said Allen. “The next court date won’t be determined until my office has filed formal charges.”

Mack has been charged in Sac County for suspicion of felony arson, burglary in the second degree, first-degree criminal mischief and trespass causing damage. The trial date has been set for November 5 in the Sac County Courthouse. However, this is subject to change pending the conference between the attorneys.

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