VAN WERT — A teenager was indicted this week on charges connected to three fires in April.
Noah M. Girod was charged with nine counts connected to the fires in Hoaglin Township at two properties in a 24-hour period.
Girod was 17 at the time and was taken into custody in April. He was placed in the Juvenile Detention Facility for Van Wert. A judge ordered he be tried as an adult. He is now in the Van Wert County Correctional Facility.
Girod pleaded not guilty to six counts of aggravated arson, each a first-degree felony, two counts of aggravated arson, each a second-degree felony, and one count of arson, a fourth-degree felony, during a hearing Thursday.
Judge Martin Burchfield of Van Wert County Common Pleas Court set bond at $500,000 cash and scheduled a pretrial for Aug. 31.
The fires created substantial risk of serious harm to people — which was the reason for the first-degree felony charges that each carry up to 11 years in prison, said Van Wert County Sheriff Tom Riggenbach.
The second-degree felonies, which carry up to eight years each, were for fires that damaged occupied structures, Riggenbach said.
The fourth-degree felony, which carries up to 18 months in prison, was for a fire that created a substantial risk of causing damage to the property of another person, Riggenbach said.
The Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office assisted in the investigation, he said.
Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.