Brainerd man charged with first-degree arson
A 25-year-old Brainerd man was charged Thursday with felony first-degree arson in Crow Wing County District Court in connection with a house fire Tuesday at a southeast Brainerd home.
The suspect, Ronnie Jackson, also was charged with felony theft. He is being held in the Crow Wing County Jail on $400,000 bond/bail without conditions and $100,000 bond/bail with conditions. His next court hearing set at 1:30 p.m. July 6.
The Brainerd Fire Department was called out at 4 a.m. Tuesday to a house fire at 711 S.E. 13th Street, where Chad Holmes and Tamara Schuety were living.
The one-story residence sustained considerable damage to the attic and roof, Fire Chief Kevin Stunek said, but the main living areas were not damaged by the flames. Stunek said there was smoke damage and a little water damage to the main living area.
Holmes said Jackson and another woman also lived in the house but they were “feuding” and were not home Tuesday night, Holmes said.
Holmes said damage to the house was substantial, particularly in the attic and the front part of the house. He said they may be able to salvage some of their belongings but he expected there was considerable smoke damage.
Another woman, Nancy Portz, 35, was arrested with Jackson. Portz also made her first appearance in court Thursday on a charge of felony theft of a vehicle. She is being held in the Crow Wing County Jail on $20,000 bond/bail without conditions and $5,000 bond/bail with conditions. Her next court appearance at 1:30 p.m. July 6.
Conditions of release for Jackson and Portz include no contact with Homes, Schuety, Dorothy Portz and each other.
JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5851.