The trial for the couple accused of beginning the Sockeye hearth started Thursday morning inside a Palmer courtroom.
Greg Imig and Amy Dewitt sat quietly throughout opening statements and because the prosecution’s first witness took the stand. Dewitt and Imig face 12 expenses every for burning and not using a allow, property injury crimes and reckless endangerment.
The Sockeye hearth started on a Sunday afternoon, on June 14, 2015. Fifty-5 houses have been destroyed. Greater than 7,000 acres of land burned. A number of animals have been killed.
Now, state prosecutors are arguing that the wildfire began on Imig’s property, from an unattended burn pile.
Imig’s protection lawyer, Kevin Fitzgerald, maintains his shopper’s innocence. Imig admits he didn’t have a burn allow, however Fitzgerald says his shopper was burning responsibly.
Dewitt and her son referred to as 911 3 times to report the hearth, because it unfold quickly. However the state is arguing that Imig, Dewitt, and her son fled with out stopping the hearth or warning neighbors.
Among the many witnesses’s on the primary day of trial was Willow Hearth Division captain Leo Lashock. On the stand, he recalled his own residence burning whereas he labored to evacuate others.
Different individuals who misplaced their residence within the blaze, and watched Thursday’s proceedings, stated it was emotional to recollect the primary day of the Sockeye hearth, which was replayed for them once more courtroom, on the very starting of what’s anticipated to be a prolonged trial.
If Imig and Dewitt are discovered responsible, state statute says they could possibly be required to pay double the quantity of the damages brought on by the hearth, together with the prices of extinguishing it.
Fitzgerald is hopeful that the ten individual jury will discover Imig not responsible on all expenses, apart from the burn allow violation. Fitzgerald can also be asking for an aquital on all costs for Dewitt.
The courtroom took a lunch break early-Thursday afternoon.
This can be a creating story; examine again for updates.