Man charged in White City trash fires
A White City man previously convicted of felony burglary over an empty bag of Teddy Grahams faces new charges alleging he started two trash fires outside county-owned buildings to warm himself.
Kaidyn John Weigert, 20, was set to be arraigned Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court on misdemeanor counts of second-degree reckless burning and second-degree criminal mischief. He is accused of setting trash containers on fire outside the Jackson County Sheriff's Office substation and White City library last month.
At just before 5:30 a.m. Sept. 18, surveillance video showed Weigert squirting accelerant on the red lid of a Rogue Disposal recycling canister outside the White City library and a metal trash canister outside the sheriff's substation in Central Point, according to court documents.
The library canister was up against the library and under a surveillance camera, and the metal canister at the sheriff's office building was roughly five feet from the substation entrance and beneath building eaves.
Weigert's mother identified her son from surveillance video the next day, according to court documents, based on his clothing, appearance and gait. She told police that Weigert had set fires around her house before.
Weigert had been lodged in jail since Friday on probation-violation warrants. Sheriff's deputies arrested Weigert Monday on the charges, plus two felony counts of first-degree arson.
When sheriff's deputies questioned Weigert Monday and showed him the video, Weigert allegedly told investigators he used lighter fluid and tried to set the fires to warm himself.
Deputy District Attorney Nick Geil said the facts he has so far don't rise to the level of arson in the first-degree, a Measure 11 case.
"Based on what I got this morning, it's just a misdemeanor case," Geil said.
For a Measure 11 first-degree arson charge to stick, there would need to be proof the intentionally-set fire damaged "protected property" such as a building.
Weigert remained lodged in jail Tuesday on $65,000 bail, but $40,000 of that bail amount stemmed from the arson charges. Other counts included misdemeanor reckless burning, second-degree criminal mischief, and probation violation for prior heroin, meth and burglary convictions.
In July, Weigert was sentenced to jail and probation for second-degree burglary stemming from a January theft of a bag of Teddy Grahams snack crackers at the White City Laundromat, according to court records. The bag turned out to be empty.
— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.