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Former Trinity principal arrested charged with arson in school fire out on bail

Thomas Sander

The former Trinity High School principal charged with felony arson in connection to the fire that destroyed parts of the school earlier this month was released from the Southwest Multi-County Correction Center after posting bond Friday.

Thomas Sander was released on $50,000 bond after a bond reduction hearing Friday morning.

Sander's bond was originally set at $500,000 cash, but Southwest Judicial District Judge Zane Anderson amended the conditions so Sander only had to post 10 percent of the original amount.

Sander, 30, requested a bond reduction hearing on March 18.

He is charged with felony arson and endangerment by fire after allegedly starting a fire in a file cabinet in the vault of the main office at Trinity High School in the late hours of Sunday, March 2.

The fire destroyed the main office and caused structural damage, forcing the closure of the building for the remainder of the school year and displacing Trinity's junior high and high school students.

Sander's employment was terminated by Dickinson Catholic Schools shortly after he was charged.

He will next appear in court at an April 21 preliminary hearing at Southwest District Court in Dickinson.

Sander will be placed in the custody of Thomas Sander Sr., his father, while the case is pending and will have to wear an electronic, GPS-enabled monitoring bracelet, according to court documents. He is only allowed to travel within Stark, Morton and Burleigh counties.

He also is prohibited from speaking to anyone with Dickinson Catholic Schools unless it is through his attorney.

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