A Flathead County man has been charged with arson following two alleged incidents, including dousing another man’s front door with gasoline and lighting it on fire.
Elijiah Norman Weller pleaded not guilty to two counts of felony arson in Flathead County District Court on Aug. 14.
According to court documents, Weller had been living in a camper on a man’s property off Poplar Drive earlier this year. The two men had a falling out earlier this summer and Weller moved away. But on July 17, he reportedly came back to the trailer of his former landlord with a small can of gas and doused the front door before lighting it on fire and running away.
The owner of the trailer was able to quickly douse the flames before any damage was done, according to court documents.
The following day shortly after 2 a.m., the Kalispell Police Department and Kalispell Fire Department responded to a vehicle fire on First Avenue West in Kalispell. As firefighters doused the flames, an officer spoke to a witness who said he had seen a white male with tattoos light the vehicle on fire before getting into a white passenger car.
Shortly after, Weller was pulled over and, according to court documents, the inside of his vehicle smelled of gasoline. The officer also saw a red gasoline can inside the vehicle. Weller was arrested.
The officer later spoke to the owner of the vehicle that was burned in Kalispell. The owner said that he had recently been talking with Weller’s girlfriend and he believed that Weller tried to torch his vehicle out of jealously.
If convicted of arson, Weller could spend 20 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
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