TOWNER – A Minot man accused of starting multiple fires from Minot to Bottineau has a jury trial scheduled in McHenry County.
Last week, McHenry County court scheduled a trial on September 18 of this year for Justin Hanson, 42, Minot, who allegedly started over a dozen fires from Minot to Bottineau on October 19, 2022, causing an estimate of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property damage to a house, patrol car, farm equipment, several unharvested fields, and more. No person was injured.
Lynn Stone, deputy clerk for McHenry County, said the trial is scheduled to last two weeks.
“He has a pretrial conference on the 18th of April,” said Stone. “That’s just if there’s any motions before the court. He has his final pretrial hearing on August 29th, in case there’s anything before the court that needs to be addressed, or if he has something that needs to be worked out with the state’s attorney.”
Stone said the trial will be a 12-person jury.
“We have to have a minimum of 45 people available that day for the jury,” said Stone.
Though McHenry County often has jury trials scheduled, Stone said jury trials happen roughly once a year in the county.
“We have them scheduled all the time, people are always asking for jury trials, but that doesn’t mean they happen,” said Stone. “We just had a two-week jury trial about a month ago. It depends on how things go between now and then, it may or may not happen. Whether or not it happens is between the attorneys.”