Grand jury to hear case of tree fire at Toomer’s Corner

jochen_wiest

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — Grand jurors will consider additional charges against a man arrested following a fire that an expert says probably killed one of the new oak trees at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn.

The Opelika-Auburn News reports a judge decided to send the case against 29-year-old Jochen Wiest to a grand jury following a hearing Wednesday.

Wiest was arrested after flames engulfed toilet paper covering a tree at Toomer’s Corner after Auburn beat LSU on Sept. 24. The tree is a replacement for one of the oaks poisoned by an Alabama football fan.

A police officer testified Wiest was wearing an Auburn cap and had a lighter, and a tree expert testified the burned oak is likely dead.

A defense lawyer questioned whether charges already filed against Wiest are justified.

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