Cottage Grove man admits setting fire to sex offender's future h - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Cottage Grove man admits setting fire to sex offender's future home

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A Cottage Grove man Monday admitted to setting fire to the future home of a sex offender, and was convicted of felony arson.

51-year old Russell Speigle will be sentenced next month.  The crime carries a maximum sentence of forty years.  But a plea agreement between Speigle and the Dane County district attorney's office involves prosecutors asking for no more than one year in jail for Speigle, as part of a probation term.  Assistant Dane County District Attorney Corey Stephan declines comment. 

After Monday's hearing, Speigle - who is free on a signature bond - also declined comment to 27 News.

In February 2015, Speigle set a fire and caused a small explosion to the home on Gaston Circle.  Community members had been told registered child sex offender Howard Nyberg was going to move into the home, and Speigle was one of the most vocal opponents of the planned move.

Authorities have surveillance camera video of a man believed to be Speigle leaving the home at the time of the fire.  A jail booking photo of Speigle from last year shows what authorities say are burns to Speigle's face from the fire he set.  Speigle appears to have recovered.

The home's rebuilding continues, and Nyberg never moved into the neighborhood.  State records show Nyberg moved-in to a residence in Stoughton.


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