Posted: May 16, 2013 5:10 PM by MTN News with Melissa Anderson reporting
HELENA - A man accused of sparking several fires in two Montana counties appeared in court today to answer to arson charges.
Fredrick Maw, 18, made his initial court appearance in Helena this afternoon. He is facing 12 felony counts of arson in connection with a string of fires in Lewis & Clark and Broadwater counties.
Maw was detained at 3:50 p.m. Wednesday and arrested about two hours later, according to L&C County Sheriff Leo Dutton.
Maw's charges stem from the Priest Pass Fire last week, the Spokane Hills Fire near Winston on Tuesday and the string of fires that were sparked on Wednesday in the York and Nelson Gulch area.
Each count carries a possible penalty of up to 20 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.
His bond was set at $100,000 by Judge Swingley.
Authorities began questioning Maw on Wednesday and later found incriminating evidence on his cell phone, connecting him with the fires at Spokane Hills in Broadwater County and in Priest Pass the week before.
According to court documents, investigators found a butane torch and fuel cylinder under the rear seat of his pickup, which was taken into evidence.