Authorities: BRF area restaurant fire was arson - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Authorities: BRF area restaurant fire was arson

Kyle Rott-Jackson County Sheriff's Department photo Kyle Rott-Jackson County Sheriff's Department photo

BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wisconsin (WXOW) – A Black River Falls man faces arson charges for burning down a well-known Jackson County tavern last July, according to Jackson County authorities.

If convicted, Kyle Rott, a part-time employee of Rustic Mill Tavern, could face up to 40 years in prison for burning down the restaurant.

Owner Brian Adkins shut down the restaurant shortly before the crime.

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, authorities released the criminal complaint detailing the cause the fire at the Rustic Mill Tavern on July 9, 2011.

"What we've done now is our investigation has reached the culminating point where we have a very solid case against the arsonist," said Jackson County District Attorney Gerald Fox. "We also believe that we're at the point in our investigation where filing this complaint actually furthers the investigation."

According to the criminal complaint, Adkins' son told investigators that his father offered Rott $10,000 to burn down the business. 

Rott replied he would do it for just two cartons of cigarettes. 

According to the complaint, police investigators said Adkins' son told them the two men shook hands and said ‘deal.'  Adkins advised Rott that he should wait until Adkins was out of town. 

Adkins was in Las Vegas the night of the fire.

Adkins told police in the criminal complaint that the comment was made in jest.

Police said during questioning, Rott confessed setting the restaurant on fire with gasoline. 

No charges have been filed against Adkins at this time.

The district attorney said there may be more charges filed against other people in the case.

Tuesday afternoon, Rott was released from jail on a signature bond.

His initial court appearance is Oct. 22.

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