- Associated Press - Friday, July 18, 2014

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Two Forsyth residents face charges that they tried to kill five people by setting a house on fire.

Amber J. Neil Hart, 23, made an initial appearance in Justice Court in Rosebud County on Thursday on five counts of accountability to deliberate homicide, accountability to arson, criminal endangerment and tampering with evidence.

Hart was being held in Yellowstone County while co-defendant, Scott Thomas Granger, is jailed in Rosebud County, The Billings Gazette (https://bit.ly/1nFOOAO) reported Friday.

Bail was set at $250,000 each.

Granger, 21, was arrested shortly after the Nov. 3 fire, which prosecutors say was set after Granger reportedly became angry after two men took him home from a house party and showed him a picture that was taken while Granger was passed out. He said he was going to return to the house and shoot people, then pointed a 12-gauge shotgun at one of the men who brought him home, prosecutors said.

That man went back to the house and warned residents that Granger had threatened to return, charging documents said.

At about 1:30 a.m., five people in the house awakened with the house on fire and had to escape out a window. They told investigators they saw a vehicle that looked like Granger’s driving away.

A search of Granger’s house turned up a gas can, while shotgun shells and lighter fluid were found in his vehicle, court records said.

Granger has pleaded not guilty to five counts of attempted deliberate homicide, arson, assault with a weapon and criminal endangerment. His trial is set for Sept. 2.

Granger’s public defender, Joe Zavatsky, and Hart’s public defender, Matthew Wald, were out of their offices Friday afternoon and not available for comment.


Information from: The Billings Gazette, https://www.billingsgazette.com

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