Dickinson man charged with arson
Jeremy Ross, 26, whose 2007 Cadillac Escalade started on fire Jan. 4, has been charged with arson, according to the Dickinson Police Department.
Ross is accused of igniting or maintaining a fire to collect insurance, according to a Stark County criminal complaint.
Investigator Kylan Klauzer said a lengthy investigation turned up information suggesting the fire was not an accident.
"A culmination of information came together from different sources," said investigator Chris Coates.
The charge is a Class B felony, punishable with up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Kelly Armstrong, his attorney, said Ross was served court papers Monday. Armstrong isn't sure if Ross collected insurance money.
Ross co-owns JD's BBQ in Dickinson and smokers there malfunctioned on two occasions -- before and after Ross's vehicle ignited -- and were damaged. Klauzer said Ross is not being charged for those incidents.
In January, Ross said the vehicle fire may have been caused by electrical problems, but he would not comment Tuesday.
"With the information I have available right now and from what my client is telling me, that is absolutely the truth," Armstrong said.
It is unclear how the fire started. In January, Dickinson fire chief Bob Sivak said because of the fire damage it was hard to tell how the vehicle started on fire.
Jim Hope, Stark County assistant state's attorney, did not return phone calls Tuesday.