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Not guilty plea in arson case

Posted: August 9, 2012 - 12:08am

A Juneau man accused of setting a fire at a park has pleaded not guilty to arson.

Ryan M. Martin, 23, entered his plea Wednesday in Juneau Superior Court before Judge Louis Menendez.

Menendez scheduled a jury trial to begin Oct. 15.

Martin was previously released on his own recognizance, and he is represented by Thomas Smith.

Martin was indicted last week alongside Ashley R. Johnston, 18, for third-degree arson and criminal mischief in connection to the June 19 fire at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. Those are felonies that can carry up to a five-year prison sentence each.

Prosecutors say Johnston has been evading authorities, and court records show a bench warrant is still out for her arrest.

A grand jury did not indict Dillon P. West, 24. Prosecutors allege West was also involved in the crime.

West still faces three misdemeanor charges, to which he pleaded not guilty in district court. His jury trial is slated for Oct. 23.

Prosecutors say Martin, Johnston and West were all caught on video surveillance footage just before the fire department responded to the arson.

Fire investigators said the blaze caused about $20,000 in damages as it burned materials being used to replace the football field, including a tractor, spreader trailer and special adhesive glue.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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