Bond set; housing remains a challenge

Wapakoneta firefighters battle the blaze at the Koneta Hotel apartment building last Sunday.
Bob Tomaszewski
Staff Writer

As the fallout from the fire that destroyed the former Koneta Hotel apartment building at the corner of Perry and Auglaize streets continues, the man allegedly at fault for starting that blaze sat for a bond hearing.

At 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Wesley Michael Slaughter, 19, accused of aggravated arson in a fire that displaced 33 people, was assigned a $500,000 bond.

Slaughter had been located by the Ohio Highway Patrol after the fire was reported and other residents had been accounted for, according to a Monday press release issued by Wapakoneta Police Chief Calvin Schneider.

Via video conference Wednesday, Municipal Court Judge Andrew Augsberger asked Slaughter if he had graduated high school and if he was employed. Slaughter said the last time he was employed was two weeks ago at the local Burger King and confirmed that he had graduated high school.

This was not Slaughter’s first trip to Municipal Court this year. He had made an agreement with the court to pay $25 a month for fines on a marijuana possession charge and has since fallen more than 60 days behind, municipal court records show. The court informed Slaughter that if he was found guilty he would have to register with the state’s arson registry. No plea was entered. A preliminary hearing will be scheduled within 10 days. Slaughter asked for an attorney to be appointed by the court.

Emotions and high and opinions are mixed regarding the arson allegations...

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