Posted: Apr 22, 2013 10:19 PM by Angela Douglas - MTN News
BILLINGS - Two Billings men facing negligent homicide charges after a deadly house fire in Lockwood are expected in Yellowstone County Justice Court on Tuesday.
Robert Bottenhagen, 21, and Zaccary Kern, 21, are accused of causing a fire that led to the deaths of four Billings residents.
Amber-Marie Beyers, 33; Troy Saylor, 28; Donavon Fogle, 25, and Brandi Hansen Moats, 25, died of smoke inhalation in the early Thursday morning house fire at 206 Hemlock Drive. Three of the victims were located in bedrooms, while the fourth person was found in the dining area.
According to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Yellowstone County Justice Court, Kern and Bottenhagen told detectives that they had attended a party at the residence the night of the fire, but denied further involvement.
However, witnesses told authorities a different version of the story.
A female witness, who stated that she and another female picked up the men from the party, told detectives that the two 21-year-olds lit an apron on fire at the residence after the others had gone to sleep. The two men told the witness that they thought they had put it out before leaving the residence.
Court documents state that Kern and Bottenhagen later, "drove back to the residence and observed the fire and the emergency vehicles. Both of them panicked and stated that they could not 'believe this was happening.'"
Both men face four felony counts of negligent homicide and one charge of felony arson.