Gibson Flats Fire Defendants Sentenced. What Did the victims Say?
It was a powerful day in the courtroom of Judge John Kutzman as victims of the Gibson Flats fire testified at the sentencing of the three men that started the fire that destroyed 13 homes and caused millions of dollars in damage.
Greg Makenstat, a victim of the fire, lost two homes and 12 vehicles. He said losing everything is like losing a family member. He said he's over grieving and is now pissed.
Another victim, 85 year old Barney Cooper said he lost everything and he had no insurance. He says today, life is miserable. He says he still mows the grass each year where his home once stood.
Linda Tedford cried as she talked about the fire calling the defendants despicable and that she would never forgive them.
You are going to get a check.
The fire broke out in the early morning hours of December 1, 2021. Brandon Bennett Jr., Jevin Mclean and Galvinn Munson were arrested and charged in the case. They told police they were out early that morning smoking pot and shooting off fireworks. That early morning it was also very windy, with gusts over 50 miles per hour. And the fireworks quickly sparked a blaze that would roar through Gibson Flats. Most people lost everything.
Today Judge Kutzman sentenced Munson to 20 years on an arson charge and another 88 years for endangerment charges involving the victims.
Both Brandon Bennett and Javin Mclean were given ten year Suspended sentences on negligent arson. Bennett was also given a one year suspended sentence for destroying evidence. Both will also have to serve time in either the county jail or pre release.
At today's sentencing Judge Kutzman called the three defendants, "idiots." He said every time he watched the video the three made the night of the fire and then posted it on snapchat, it made him mad.