Man appeals hotel arson sentence to higher court

2013-04-06T00:15:00Z Man appeals hotel arson sentence to higher courtBy John Grant Emeigh of The Montana Standard Montana Standard

One of the men sentenced in the arson at Butte’s National Hotel is appealing his case to the Montana Supreme Court.

Jeffery Mizerski filed a notice of appeal this week and intends to challenge the Butte district court ruling made in January, according to court papers. Mizerski pleaded guilty to arson by accountability and was given a three-year sentence to the Montana Department of Corrections.

Mizerski, 32, and Billie Joe Brasher, 38, both pleaded guilty to intentionally starting the Aug. 23, 2010, fire at the National Hotel, 703 S. Utah St. The fire heavily damaged the building and put several tenants lives’ in danger.

The historic building has since been torn down due to the damage.

In May 2012, Mizerski entered a guilty plea to the arson by accountability charge under a plea agreement. The following November, he filed a motion requesting to withdraw his plea claiming he made it by mistake.

District Judge Brad Newman denied that request in December after deciding Mizerski was fully aware of his choice to plead guilty. The judge sentenced Mizerski to 10 years with the Department of Corrections with seven years suspended. He also ordered Mizerski to pay almost $50,000 in restitution.

Brasher was sentenced in June 2012 to eight years in the Montana State Prison for his part in the arson.

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