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Man enters Alford plea for Helena-area fires

By The Associated Press
Published On: Dec 21 2013 01:08:58 PM MST
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HELENA, Mont. -

An 18-year-old man who was charged with setting numerous fires in the Helena area in May has pleaded guilty to two counts of arson.

Fredrick J. Maw V entered his Alford pleas in District Court in Helena on Thursday, telling the judge he doesn't remember what happened. Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges prosecutors have enough evidence to gain a conviction.

Maw was arrested after he was spotted near fires set north of Helena. He was holding a trigger-operated lighter.

Lewis and Clark County Attorney Leo Gallagher says he will recommend Maw be sentenced to 40 years in prison with 30 suspended. Sentencing is set for Feb. 14.