Man pleads guilty to two charges after setting fire to horse barn, killing 13 horses

Lowell man pleads guilty to two felony charges after setting fire to a horse barn, killing 13 horses

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Payton Mellema, who set fire to his neighbors horse barn killing 13 horses and causing significant property damage, pled guilty to two felony charges on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017.

Mellema will serve a 5-year term of probation and he will be housed in a secured facility for the first 3 years. He is also prohibited from making contact with the victims involved and is not allowed to return to his past address. 

Mellema used to volunteer for the Center of Equine Learning, which operated out of the barn he burned down. He has a history of mental health and behavioral issues. 

Read more: Suspect in horse barn fire to stand trial for removing electronic tether

Read more: 13 therapy horses killed in barn fire, criminal investigation underway

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