Man pleads not guilty to arson charge in corncrib fire

September 4, 2019 GMT

SAC CITY, Iowa (AP) — A man accused of helping a volunteer firefighter set fire to a corncrib in western Iowa has pleaded not guilty.

Sac County District Court records say 18-year-old Alexander Lilly entered the written pleas Friday to charges of arson, burglary, criminal mischief and trespass causing damage. His trial in Sac City is scheduled to begin Dec. 10.

Authorities say Lilly helped 25-year-old Brent Mack start the blaze Aug. 19 at the corncrib a little more than a mile (1.7 kilometers) north of Nemaha. Suspicions grew after another firefighter found Mack had arrived first at the Nemaha station even though Mack lived at least 15 minutes away in Newell.


The court records say Mack later told investigators that he, Lilly and a 17-year-old girl had driven around the area, looking for a place to set a fire, and settled on the corncrib.

Mack’s set to be arraigned Sept. 16. His attorney didn’t immediately return a call Wednesday from The Associated Press.