Man accused of setting school fire bound over for trial

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(WEAU) - The man accused of setting a fire at a St. Croix County elementary school has been bound over for trial.

Justin Walter Nelson, 24, of Roberts appeared in court Monday, with the court ruling that there was probable cause that Nelson had committed a felony.

He faces charges of arson, criminal damage to property and burglary of a building. Investigators say Nelson stole prescription drugs from the nurse’s office at St. Croix Central Elementary School and also stole electronics.

The complaint says he told his brother he broke into the school and started the fire.

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ROBERTS, Wis. (WEAU))--The man accused of setting fire to an elementary school in St. Croix County has been charged.

24-year-old Justin Walter Nelson of Roberts was in court Friday afternoon on charges of arson, criminal damage to property and burglary of a building. His bond was set at $100,000 cash, and he was ordered not to go within 1,000 feet of the St. Croix Central Schools.

According to a criminal complaint, Nelson stole prescription drugs from the nurses office at the elementary school. He also used a fire extinguisher to break into classrooms and steal electronics before setting the fire.

Nelson later admitted to police he broke into the school. The complaint says he also told his brother he started the fire.
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BREAKING NEWS UPDATE FROM ROBERTS POLICE:

On April 30, 2013, at approx 3:46AM, a fire was reported at the St. Croix Central Elementary School located at 202 S. Division St in the Village of Roberts, WI.

The Roberts-Warren Fire Department responded to the scene and, with the help of several area agencies, suppressed the fire.
The State Fire Marshal's office within the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) at the Wisconsin Department of Justice, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department, River Falls Police Department, Hudson Police Department and Wisconsin State Patrol all joined with the Roberts Police Department and participated in this ongoing investigation.

Earlier this evening at approximately 5:00PM, investigators made an arrest regarding this crime. The arrestee is expected to be charged with several State violations by the St. Croix County District Attorney’s Office tomorrow. No other information is available at this time.
Roberts Police Chief Daniel Burgess stated, “This is an outstanding example of Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement joining forces to successfully solve this senseless violent crime. I would like to wholeheartedly thank each of these agencies and the community for all of the support."

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ROBERTS, Wis. (WEAU)--A $5,000 reward is now being offered for information on the fire at an elementary school in Roberts.

Investigators say there is proof of forced entry into the St. Croix Elementary School. The fire broke out early Tuesday morning and has canceled classes there for the remainder of the year. The damage from the fire to the school and contents is estimated at about $1.5 million dollars. The superintendent says they are working on finding another location for the kids.

The Roberts Police Department, St. Croix Sheriff’s Department, River Falls Police Department and Wisconsin State Patrol are also assisting on the investigation.

If you have information, you can call the anonymous 24-hour tipline at 715-386-4701 or (608) 441-5050

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NEW DEVELOPMENT FROM THE ROBERTS POLICE DEPARTMENT:

Arson Investigators at the St. Croix Central Elementary School in Roberts, WI are confirming that there was forced entry to the school building. We are seeking the public’s help with any information from the night of Monday April 29th that may have seemed suspicious or out of the ordinary. Those with information are asked to contact the St. Croix County dispatch non emergency number of 715-386-4701. You can remain anonymous.

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ROBERTS, Wis. (WEAU) - Investigators are looking at an elementary school fire as possible arson.

The fire at the St. Croix Central Elementary School early this morning has cancelled classes, possibly for the remainder of the school year.

The St. Croix Central School District Superintendent says firefighters told him it was unlikely classes could be held in the building for the remaining 26 days of the school year.

The Roberts Police Chief says arson specialists from the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation and the St. Croix County Sheriff's office are looking at "inconsistencies found at the scene."

Investigators plan to release more information at a news conference Tuesday evening.
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ROBERTS, Wis. (AP) -- A fire has canceled classes at an elementary school in St. Croix County, possibly for the remainder of the school year.

St. Croix Central School District Superintendent David Bradley says fire officials told him it was unlikely classes could be held in the building for the remaining 26 days of the school year. Bradley tells KMSP-TV administrators are looking for alternative sites around the community of Roberts to hold classes.

Firefighters were dispatched to the elementary school about 4 a.m. Tuesday.
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ROBERTS, Wis. (KARE) - Classes are canceled at an elementary school in Roberts, as crews clean up after an overnight fire.

First responders were dispatched to St. Croix Central Elementary School on the 200 block of South Division Street around 4 a.m. Tuesday and arrived to find smoke and flames billowing from the office area of the building.

As of 7 a.m. Tuesday, fire crews were still on the scene, putting down minor flare-ups.

At this point, there is no suspected cause for the fire. Four local departments responded to put out the fire.


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