- Associated Press - Friday, July 22, 2016

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - A 22-year-old Box Elder man has denied federal charges that allege he set fire to a house in Box Elder on May 19, killing 24-year-old Freddy Bacon.

Mitchell Lawrence LaMere appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge John Johnston in Great Falls on Thursday and pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, second-degree murder and arson. LaMere was earlier charged in Chippewa Cree tribal court with deliberate homicide and arson.

Tribal police alleged LaMere set the fire intending to harm his ex-girlfriend and two other men, with whom he had argued earlier.

LaMere’s former girlfriend and the two men were not at the house when the fire began and the homeowner was able to escape through a bedroom window. An autopsy found Bacon suffered burns on his upper body and died of smoke inhalation.

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