Horses, Arson, Barn Fire, Lowell, Michigan Man Arraigned On Charges In Western Michigan Horse Barn Fire – CBS Detroit

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A man suspected of setting a barn fire that killed 13 horses in western Michigan has been arraigned on charges of third-degree arson and killing or torturing animals.

Kent County prosecutors say 20-year-old Payton Mellema was arraigned Friday.

READ MORE: Chalking Tires Illegal, Judge Says, But Saginaw Gets Big Break

Only two of 15 horses survived the April 8 Lowell-area fire. The horses were used as therapy for children and young adults with a variety of special needs. Mellema lived nearby.

READ MORE: LeBron James School Student Treated To VIP Access By NASCAR

Investigators wrote in a probable cause affidavit that Mellema said Thursday that “he gained access to the barn and chained the doors closed. He then used an accelerant and started a small fire in the hayloft that got out of control.”

Mellema has been jailed since May on a charge of violating probation. It wasn’t clear whether he has an attorney.

MORE NEWS: MSP: Pursuit Of Stolen Vehicle With Murder Suspect Ends In Crash On I-275 In Livonia

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.