Suspects charged in Edwardsburg fire, other property damage

Published 7:48 pm Thursday, February 16, 2012

Two Edwardsburg men have been charged with several felonies for allegedly setting fire to an Edwardsburg fertilizer plant early Wednesday morning and also damaging three other businesses’ buildings.

Adam Sheneman, 24, and Connor Lee, 20, were arraigned in Cass County Court Thursday in connection with the fire at O.F. Co Inc.’s building and damage at North American Forest Products, Duo Form and Mid West Lumber — a four-block area of Kruse Road in Edwardsburg — between 11 a.m. Tuesday and 2 a.m. Wednesday.

Sheneman and Lee are facing the following charges:

• Conspiracy to commit arson, a 10-year felony

• Arson of real property, a 10-year felony

• Arson of personal property $20,000 or more, a 10-year felony and/or $15,000 or three times the value of the personal property burned or intended to be burned, whichever is greater

• Two counts of breaking and entering with intent, a 10-year felony

• Larceny in a building, a four-year felony

• Malicious destruction of personal property less than $200, misdemeanor 93 days or $500 fine

• Larceny less than $200, misdemeanor 93 days in jail or $500 fine

Sheneman is also charged with habitual offender, fourth offense notice, life in prison if primary offenses have penalty of five years or more

Sheneman’s bond was set at $150,000, and Lee’s was set at $150,000, cash or surety.

According to Ontwa Township-Edwardsburg Police Chief Kenneth Wray, they received a citizen tip that two subjects were walking in the area of Kruse Road shortly after a fire started at around 2 a.m. at a fertilizer storage building on Max Street and Kruse Road. The building, which is part of O.F. Co Inc., was a total loss.

Police also found property damage at the three other businesses.

Wray said police located the subjects several blocks from where the criminal activity took place.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Department and Cass County Drug Enforcement Team assisted in the investigation.