Men charged with starting Roaring Lion Fire reach deferred prose - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Men charged with starting Roaring Lion Fire reach deferred prosecution agreement

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HAMILTON -

The three men, who were charged with starting a destructive wildfire near Hamilton last year, may not go to trial.

The three entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with state and county prosecutors.

Cody Knez, Steven Banks and Tyler Johnson faced felony and misdemeanor negligent arson charges for their connection to the Roaring Lion Fire, which burned 16 homes and charred 8,700 acres last August.

They made their first appearance in a Hamilton courtroom back in November.

They were scheduled to face individual jury trials beginning on September 11.

The defendants on Monday reached an agreement with state and county prosecutors in order to avoid going to trial.

Under the agreement, all three must abide all city, state, and federal laws, pay 10-percent of their income in restitution for five years, and perform 100 hours of community service per year for the next three years.

If approved by a judge, the deferred prosecution agreement will automatically suspend all proceedings.

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