WAPAKONETA — Bond was set at $1 million Thursday in Auglaize County Common Pleas Court for Wesley Slaughter, the Wapakoneta man charged with arson in connection with a Dec. 23 fire that left dozens of people homeless just before Christmas.
After making an initial appearance in Auglaize County Municipal Court on Dec. 26 on answer to a single count of arson, Slaughter, 19, was indicted by an Auglaize County grand jury this week on four counts of first-degree felony aggravated arson and one count of second-degree aggravated arson.
His previous bond of $500,000 was doubled at Thursday’s hearing. Attorney Gerald Siesel was named the court-appointed defense counsel to represent Slaughter, who had been found to be indigent.
Wapakoneta firefighters were dispatched shortly after 11 p.m. Dec. 23 to the Koneta building, 1 Perry St., a structure that housed two dozen occupants. Upon their arrival, crews found smoke coming from several windows of the building and flames coming from an apartment on the front of the structure, the spokesman said.
Nearly two dozen occupants of the motel portion of the building were exiting the structure upon firefighters’ arrival, and all were able to escape safely.
A local restaurant owner paid to have the persons displaced by the fire gain temporary lodging at a Wapakoneta motel.
By the afternoon of Dec. 24, Slaughter, reportedly a resident of the Koneta building, was arrested and charged with arson.
The structure has stood in downtown Wapakoneta since 1898.