Sockeye Plea… Not Guilty

Troopers stop traffic on the Parks Highway Monday morning as the Sockeye Fire spreads. (Photo by John Norris - Alaska Public Media)
Troopers stop traffic on the Parks Highway Monday morning as the Sockeye Fire spreads. (Photo by John Norris – Alaska Public Media)

Defendants in the Sockeye wildfire case were no-shows in state court in Palmer Tuesday morning. The state is seeking a conviction against Greg Imig and Amy DeWitt, who are charged with eight misdemeanor counts ranging from illegal burning to reckless endangerment as a result of the fire that consumed more than 50 homes in the Willow area. Imig and DeWill waived arraignment late Monday. Their attorneys filed not guilty pleas for both.

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No victims of the fire appeared in court Tueaday, although Sherese Miller, a paralegal with the Palmer District Attorney’s office, says the state is trying to locate them.

“Anyone affected by the fire, I need them to be contacting the District Attorney’s office. So that they can give us their information. We are obviously reaching out, but it is very hard. We have been reaching out by sending letters. We are through about thirty of them. But this takes immense research, because a lot of the properties were just rec properties. There were no buildings on them.”

Miller says restitution for victims can be ordered by the court up to ninety days after the end of the trial. The next proceeding is a pre-trial hearing set for Imig and DeWitt on August 21 in Palmer.