Smoke billows from the burning 7-Eleven convenience store off the Trans-Canada Highway in Salmon Arm on Aug. 24, 2018. (File photo)

Man accused in 2018 fire that destroyed Salmon Arm 7-Eleven to stand trial

Following submission of evidence in preliminary inquiry, judge rules case will go to trial

The man accused in the fire that destroyed the 7-Eleven store in Salmon Arm will be standing trial.

On Sept. 30, a preliminary inquiry took place in Provincial Court in Salmon Arm regarding three charges that 39-year-old Kenneth Robert LaForge faces: mischief of $5,000 or under, arson in relation to inhabited property and arson damaging property.

The 7-Eleven was boarded up and eventually torn down following the incident on Aug. 24, 2018, during which a fire erupted after a vehicle drove into the front of the store.

Preliminary inquiries, which are generally subject to publication bans, are held to determine if the evidence is sufficient to proceed to trial.

Following the inquiry, the judge ruled the case would go to trial, but a date has not been set.

A bail hearing has not yet been scheduled to see if the accused will remain in jail while his case makes its way through the courts.

Read more: City wants fire damaged 7-Eleven site cleaned up

Read more: 7-Eleven to demolish burned building in Salmon Arm

Read more: Update – Suspect in Salmon Arm 7-Eleven fire facing charges

Read more: Man charged in Salmon Arm 7-Eleven fire granted bail

When LaForge was released from custody in January, 23 conditions were imposed, such as a curfew confining him inside his Sorrento residence between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. each day unless he has a compelling reason and written permission from his bail supervisor.

On July 30, a fourth count was added to the three connected with the initial fire: breach of an undertaking or recognizance. Court documents state that on June 6, at or near Salmon Arm, LaForge failed to comply with a condition of his release. That condition was not to possess or consume alcohol, drugs or any other intoxicating substance except in accordance with a medical prescription.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

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