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Silflow pleads guilty to setting fires at Bozeman school - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Silflow pleads guilty to setting fires at Bozeman school

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Zachary James Silflow Zachary James Silflow
Surveillance Heritage Christian School Fire 2014 Surveillance Heritage Christian School Fire 2014
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BOZEMAN -- Zachary Silflow, accused of setting two fires at Heritage Christian School in Bozeman, appeared in Gallatin County District Court Monday and changed his plea to guilty.

Silflow told the judge that he set the two fires at the school; the first in the summer of 2012 and the second in October.

Reports indicate that surveillance video of the second fire led to Silflow's arrest.

As part of a plea agreement, the state will drop two other charges of burglary against him.  

However, there is no sentencing agreement in the case.  


(Novemberr 11, 2014) Zachary Silflow, accused of setting two fires at Heritage Christian School, pleaded not guilty on Monday.

According to court documents, Silflow admits to drinking the night before the fire and thinking about feeling he was mistreated when he attended the school.

The documents say Silflow lit the gym floor on fire because that's where he was mistreated.

He admitted to setting the October 2014 fire in the school and a fire set at the school in August of 2012.

Silflow is charged with two counts of arson and two counts of burglary, both felonies.

If convicted, he faces up to 80 years behind bars.

Judge Mike Salvagni continued Silflow's bond at $500,000.


(October 27, 2014) Zachary James Silflow, 25, made his initial appearance in court on Monday after admitting that he started a fire in Heritage Christian School last week.

Silflow is charged with arson and burglary, both felonies, for starting the fire last week, and also a fire at the school in August 2012.

Silflow told investigators that he was upset about his time spent as a student at the school and his mother's employment at the school.

Gallatin County Sheriff deputies, Bozeman Fire Department and the Rae Sourdough Fire Department responded to a fire alarm notification at 5:09 a.m. on Friday,Octobert 24 at the school on Durston Road.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, which was suspected to be arson, in the gymnasium area of the school; no one was injured, and damage was reported to be minimal.

The superintendent of the school told deputies that a video surveillance system had been installed inside the school after an earlier fire occurred in August 2012, and video of the suspect - later identified as Silflow - was released on Friday.

The school confirmed to investigators that Silflow had been a student at Heritage Christian School and his mother had been an employee at the school. Investigators were told that Silflow had left under "unusual circumstances."

Silflow was then contacted at his home by a Gallatin County Sheriff's deputy and a Bozeman Police Department detective and taken to the Gallatin County Law & Justice Center.

After being read his rights, Silflow admitted he'd been a student at the school and also admitted he'd been disgruntled about his time there.

He initially denied involvement in the fires, but indicated he was upset about his mother's employment and his time spent at the school.

Silflow eventually admitted to his involvement in both Friday's fire and the fire that occurred in August 2012.

He reportedly provided details of both fires and how he had started them.

Silflow admitted to entering the school while drunk and starting a fire within the gymnasium area on both occasions. The information was corroborated by the surveillance video.

The judge set bond for Silflow at $500,000.


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