Two more arrested in connection with Albert Lea suspected arson
(ABC 6 News) – Two more adults appeared in Freeborn County court Monday in connection with a suspicious fire on Garfield Avenue, Albert Lea Oct. 6.
Kaden James Ashenfelter, 22, and Hailey Marie Merrill, 27, each face a charge of aiding and abetting 1st-degree arson.
Nineteen-year-old Kolton Lee Wright was arrested earlier in the day Oct. 13 and received the same charge.
At the time, Albert Lea police announced that they were still investigating a group of teenagers and young adults allegedly involved in the fire.
Freeborn county issued warrants for Ashenfelter and Merrill’s arrest later that day, according to Minnesota court records.
The two were booked into the Freeborn County jail around 8:30 p.m. after turning themselves in to law enforcement, according to jail records.
ABC 6 News previously reported that a witness Oct. 6 told law enforcement he saw 3 people run from the house on Garfield Avenue to a black/burgundy SUV around the time the fire started.
The residents at the home told police they believed the fire was caused by arson, as there was no power in the house at the time of the fire.
According to court documents filed Monday, Merrill told police that on Oct. 6, she, Wright, and the juvenile were hanging out in the “north lot” and discussing a way to get revenge on one of the home’s residents “and burn his garage down.
Merrill allegedly told police Ashenfelter drove the three to the house on Garfield Avenue, Wright handed the lighter fluid to the juvenile, and the juvenile allegedly doused some blankets and cushions in the garage, then lit the whole thing on fire, according to court documents.
After his arrest, Wright allegedly told police he set the fire, and that he and Merrill talked about blaming the fire on the juvenile afterward.
All three suspects are scheduled to appear in Freeborn County Court Oct. 26.