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Four charged in Chief Chiniki fire

Cochrane RCMP have arrested and charged four individuals from the community of Morley, in connection with the fire that burned the iconic Chief Chiniki Restaurant to the ground Aug. 21. Following a three-month investigation, Sgt.
Four suspects have been arrested and charged with arson, in connection with the Aug. 21 fire that burned the iconic Chief Chiniki Restaurant to the ground.
Four suspects have been arrested and charged with arson, in connection with the Aug. 21 fire that burned the iconic Chief Chiniki Restaurant to the ground.

Cochrane RCMP have arrested and charged four individuals from the community of Morley, in connection with the fire that burned the iconic Chief Chiniki Restaurant to the ground Aug. 21.

Following a three-month investigation, Sgt. Audrey Robinson said it was “good police work” that led to the location, interviews and arrests of the four suspects.

“We still have not received the lab analysis report,” said Robinson.

All four of the individuals arrested and charged with arson under Section 434 of the Criminal Code are male. One is a 20-year-old adult, two are 16 years old and one is a 13-year-old; all are residents of the nearby Stoney First Nations community.

The identity of the adult male will not be released, as this may lead to the identity of the three charged youths.

One of the accused made a first appearance on Nov. 23 in Calgary court.

Two of the accused made appearances in Cochrane Provincial Court on Nov. 27 and the remaining accused is set to appear in Cochrane Provincial Court on Nov. 29.

Arson is an indictable offence that can carry a penalty of up to 14 years in jail.

“(Chiniki Restaurant) was an important destination for residents and those travelling through... I can only imagine how disheartening this is for the Stoney Nation residents,” said Robinson.

The fire caused an estimated $1.1 million in damage.

Shirley Ketterer, an economic development officer with the Chiniki band, said that the building was insured and there are plans to eventually rebuild.

The case is now considered closed.


Lindsay  Seewalt

About the Author: Lindsay Seewalt

Lindsay is a senior Eagle reporter who has transformed her penchant for storytelling into the craft of writing.
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