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Firefighter gets two year jail sentence for arson

July 6, 2017, Mayerthorpe, Alta. - A volunteer firefighter who admitted to setting a series of fires in Mayerthorpe, Alta., including a spectacular blaze that destroyed a landmark Canadian National Railway trestle, has been sentenced to 24 months in jail.

Lawson Schalm, who is 20, was sentenced Thursday after previously pleading guilty to four counts of arson.

The former junior firefighter with the Mayerthorpe Fire Department was also given three years' probation and will serve 21 months after spending three months in pre-trial custody.

The Crown had argued for a five-year sentence while defence lawyer Ed O'Neill had sought a shorter term, telling court that Schalm has significant cognitive deficits and a low IQ.

Schalm was charged after 18 fires were set in the community in April 2016.

The blaze that destroyed the trestle cost CN millions of dollars to replace. (CTV Edmonton)

July 6, 2017
By The Canadian Press

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