Posted: Oct 2, 2012 2:03 PM by Erin Schattauer
Updated: Oct 2, 2012 2:12 PM
BOZEMAN - Three 14-year-old Bozeman girls have been charged with arson for a fire that destroyed a trailer last month.
The three girls appeared for a hearing in court today. They were all three released on conditions and have been placed on GPS monitoring, according to deputy county attorney Eric Kitzmiller.
On Sept. 20, fire destroyed a trailer in the Wagon Wheel Trailer Court on West Main Street. The trailer was valued at $10,000.
According to court documents, the three girls started the fire after going there to light candles for a friend who had died in the trailer. One of the girls reportedly sent a text message saying she was going to burn down the trailer.
The girls provided police with varying details about how the fire started, according to court documents. Two of the girls blamed the third girl for the fire, while the third girl claims it was the other two.
The girl who reportedly sent the text message saying "...I'm burning the trailer he died in TO THE GROUND," claims one of the other girls used her phone to send the message.
The girls reportedly lit small candles and placed them on a bed inside the trailer. One of the girls said gasoline was used while another said beer was poured on the flames, court documents state.
Kitzmiller declined to comment on whether the girls are believed to be involved in other suspicious fires in the Bozeman area in the past couple months. The teens were in custody when other fires erupted in Bozeman around that same time. Two other fires - one at Heritage Christian and the other at an office on Stoneridge Drive - happened in August and also have been deemed suspicious.
(We have chosen not to identify the girls in our story due to their age.)