Alleged arsonist back in court

Latest court news regarding Christopher Cusack and Andre Conn.

The man accused of setting fire to both the Grand Forks Hotel and the Winnipeg Hotel in 2012 appeared in Grand Forks Provincial Court Wednesday for a continuation of his trial.Christopher Cusack, 48, is charged with two counts of arson in relation to an inhabited property.On Oct. 1, 2013 in Grand Forks Court, Cusack’s lawyer Ken Wyllie pleaded not guilty on his behalf, but did submit an admission of facts.In his admission, Cusack admitted to setting the two fires on March 7, 2012. The first fire was at the Grand Forks Hotel, destroying the building and causing $1 million in damage.The second fire was set on a motorcycle which was under a staircase at the Winnipeg Hotel. The fire spread, causing more than $10,000 worth of damage.

During the court appearance, the judge ordered a new psych evaluation for Cusack from Dr. Heninger in Coquitlam’s Forensic Psychiatric Hospital.

In other court news, Andre Conn, the 32 year-old Grand Forks man charged with setting fire to City Hall, will appear in Rossland Court on Sept. 15 for a jury trial.Conn was charged with break and enter, arson, possession of incendiary materials and possession of break-in instruments.The fire at City Hall, which occurred on Sept. 19, 2013, caused extensive damage and was classed by police as arson. On the morning of the fire, Grand Forks RCMP apprehended Conn near the scene of the fire, referring to him in a press release as a “person of interest.”