One Albert Lea arson suspect sentenced to 4 months in jail; others to appear March 1 for pretrials

(ABC 6 News) – One of three suspects in an Albert Lea arson case was sentenced to 120 days in the Freeborn County Jail after pleading guilty to 2nd-degree arson.

Hailey Marie Merrill, 28, received credit for 64 days already spent in local confinement.

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Merrill was also sentenced to 5 years of probation.

Merrill, two other adults, and one juvenile were arrested following a suspicious fire on Garfield Avenue Oct. 13, 2023.

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If she fails to complete the probation without incident, she could be re-sentenced to 18 months at the MN Correctional Facility in Shakopee, according to court records.

Merrill was also ordered to complete 200 hours of community service — 50 of which must be spent with the Albert Lea Fire Department. She was ordered to make an apology to Albert Lea firefighters at the completion of her community service as well.

Kaden Ashenfelter and Kolton Wright, the two other adult suspects in the case, are scheduled to appear for pre-trial hearings March 1.

Each faces one charge of aiding and abetting 1st-degree arson.