Marshall man charged with first degree arson

MARSHALL — A Marshall man arrested Friday in connection with a house fire in rural Stanley Township is being charged with arson.

Tyson Joe Hinckley, 33, made his first appearance in Lyon County District Court on Monday.

Hinckley appeared in custody and was formally charged with first degree arson, second degree burglary and motor vehicle theft. A criminal complaint filed in Lyon County alleges Hinckley broke into a home on 310th Street, and started a fire in an attached garage. The complaint also alleges Hinckley stole a van on the property and drove it into a cornfield east of the residence.

Area law enforcement and firefighters from several departments responded to the fire Friday afternoon. Some of the responders had been part of a search for Hinckley earlier that day, when an abandoned vehicle was found in Section 16 of Stanley Township. The house on fire was in Section 15, the next section over from where the vehicle was found.

The criminal complaint said a sheriff’s deputy arrived at the residence to find the garage engulfed in flames. The deputy also found Hinckley at the scene, dressed in boxer shorts, the complaint said. The complaint alleges Hinckley told law enforcement officers he started the fire.

On Friday, Lyon County Sheriff Eric Wallen said the fire was under investigation, and was being treated as suspicious.

All three of the charges against Hinckley are felonies. The maximum penalty for first degree arson is 20 years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both.

At Hinckley’s court appearance Monday, Lyon County Attorney Rick Maes asked that bail be set at $100,000 without conditions, or $65,000 with conditions. Hinckley’s defense attorney requested lower amount — $20,000 without conditions, or $3,000 cash or bond with conditions — so Hinckley could work on getting chemical abuse treatment.

Judge Michelle Dietrich ended up setting bail at an amount in between the two requests. Bail for Hinckley was set at $85,000 without conditions, or $50,000 cash or bond with conditions including that Hinckley doesn’t leave Minnesota, abstains from alcohol and drugs, and is subject to random drug testing. A future hearing date was set for Aug. 13.

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