A five day, July 2017 trial has been set for a Merrill man accused of starting an arson fire which led to the total loss of a home, garage and most of the belongings and valuables of a local family.
22-year old David E. Ostrowski was officially charged last Spring with 1st Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety; Arson of a Building without Owners Consent; Injury by Negligent Use of a Weapon/Explosive; Burglary to Building or Dwelling; Criminal Damage to Property over $2,500 and Felony-Bail Jumping, in connection to the blaze which occurred October 22, 2015 at 1900 E. First Street.
During a June Preliminary Hearing, Merrill Police Department investgator Nicole Cimino discussed an interview with Ostrowski shortly after the arson fire, which destroyed the entire home, garage and most of the belongings and valuables of the family of Joe and Michele Brown. At the time of the fire, seven people were inside the Brown family home and asleep, including Joe, Michele as well as the couple’s son and four of his friends.
During that interview, Ostrowski reportedly indicated he “wanted them to feel how I felt. I wanted them to see what it’s like to lose everything.”
Ostrowski sat seemingly stoic as Cimino further explained how Ostrowski reportedly admitted to entering the Brown family’s garage in the early morning hours of Thursday October 22.
Ostrowski then admittedly attempted to ignite a seat of an antique car on fire with a cigarette lighter. When that attempt failed, Ostrowski reportedly admitted to mixing oil and gasoline together before dumping it on the car and lighting with the same cigarette lighter.
The trial is set to begin on July 24 and wrap up July 28.
Marathon County Judge Lamont Jacobson will preside over the trial, following a motion by Ostrowski’s attorney in June for a replacement judge.
Judge Robert Russell presided over the June preliminary hearing, finding probable cause to bound Ostrowski over for trial.
Ostrowski’s next court date is a Pre-Trial Conference set for December 19 at the Marathon County Courthouse