Cusack appears in Grand Forks court for hotel fires; judge grants adjournment

The man accused of burning down two hotels in Grand Forks appeared in Grand Forks Court on Tuesday.

Christopher Cusack is charged with two counts of arson in relation to an inhabited property for the fires at the Winnipeg and Grand Forks hotels.

Christopher Cusack, the man accused of burning down both the Grand Forks and Winnipeg hotels back in 2012, appeared in Grand Forks Court on Tuesday.Cusack is charged with of two counts of arson in relation to an inhabited property.Ken Wyllie, representing Cusack, once again pleaded not guilty on behalf of his client, but did submit an admission of facts.In the 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.Cusack had been at the Winnipeg drinking all day. L. Wark, a bartender and waitress working at the Winnipeg Hotel the night of the fire, appeared on the stand as a witness. Wark said Cusack refused to pay his $35 bill, telling her he owned the hotel. She said he was kicked out after trying to take beer from another customer’s pitcher.According to the admission of guilt, later that night Cusack rode his bicycle to the PetroCanada and filled a jerry can with gasoline that he used to start the fires.Cusack had been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 10 years before. He had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital and been on various medications after complaining of paranoia.Cusack stopped taking his medication five years ago, complaining of feeling sluggish.A couple of days before the fire, Cusack got a prescription from Dr. Coleshill in Grand Forks. A local pharmacy couldn’t prescribe the drugs because Cusack was destitute.Judge Fabbro granted the defence an adjournment for further psychiatric assessment.Cusack will return to Grand Forks court on Oct. 15 to fix a hearing date for a continuation.

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