Coast guard attack suspect arraigned on arson charges

February 11, 2015
Matthew Lawrence Krueger, 33, of Illinois was arraigned via video conferencing from the Ottawa County Jail Wednesday, Feb. 11, in 78th District Court in Hart on four felony arson counts.

Matthew Lawrence Krueger, 33, of Illinois was arraigned via video conferencing from the Ottawa County Jail Wednesday, Feb. 11, in 78th District Court in Hart on four felony arson counts.

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

HART — Matthew Lawrence Krueger, 33, of Illinois was arraigned via video conferencing from the Ottawa County Jail Wednesday, Feb. 11, in 78th District Court on four felony arson counts in connection to the fire that destroyed a structure near Mears early Sunday morning, Feb. 8, two hours before his alleged attack on the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Grand Haven.

Krueger appeared stoic and rather dazed as Magistrate Jo Gowell read the charges against him. He faces up to life in prison for first-degree arson, along with three additional arson counts.

Krueger araignment-2

78th District Court Magistrate Jo Gowell reads the charges against Matthew Krueger via video conferencing Wednesday afternoon.

As Gowell read each charge, he replied in a monotone voice, “I understand the charge.” Krueger appeared with no attorney and therefore “stood mute” to the charges with a not guilty plea. Gowell set his bond at $100,000 cash/surety. Gowell asked him if he plans to hire an attorney, and he said, “I’m not sure.” She appointed Shelby’s Timothy Hayes as his court-appointed attorney and told him that if he does decide to hire an attorney to notify the court.

Krueger’s next appearance in 78th District Court is a preliminary conference set for Feb. 17 at 3 p.m., followed by a preliminary exam Feb. 23 at 3 p.m.

The following are the charges against Krueger in Oceana:

– Count I, first-degree arson, which carries a maximum life sentence and/or a $20,000 fine;

– Count II, second-degree arson, which carries a 20-year sentence and/or a $20,000 fine;

– Count III, arson – preparation to burn property of value of $20,000 or more, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine.

– Count IV, arson – preparation to burn real insured property, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine.

Krueger, who also appeared on video from the Ottawa County Jail, was arraigned Monday, Feb. 9, in Ottawa County on charges of making a false report or threat of terrorism, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and malicious destruction of personal  property $1,000-$20,000, which carries a maximum five-year sentence.

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