Teen accused of arson waives preliminary hearing - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Teen accused of arson waives preliminary hearing

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) -  The teen arrested and accused of starting a garage fire in La Crosse waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

19-year-old Austin Gardner is facing the Class C felony charge of arson punishable by maximum 40 years in prison and fines of up to $100,000.

The garage fire took place on June 12th around 8:45 p.m. on 1116 South 6th Street, La Crosse.

According to police, when the fire department arrived, the homeowner was trying to contain the fire with a garden hose. Fire fighters were able to extinguish the fire with minor damage to the property.

Police say a witness told officers that she overheard Gardner say 'I just started a fire and the police are coming' to his cousin as they walked past her that evening.

Gardner's trial begins on August 21st at 10:00 a.m.

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