Mendon man accepts plea deal for allegedly starting hay barn on fire

LOGAN — A 24-year-old Mendon man has accepted a plea deal after being arrested in 2021 for starting a fire that destroyed a nearby hay barn. The plea deal for Aaron Kirk Obray came just weeks before the case was scheduled for a two day jury trial.

Obray appeared Monday morning for a final pretrial conference in 1st District Court. He pleaded “no contest” to arson, a second-degree felony; and obstructing justice, amended to a class A misdemeanor.

The plea means Obray conceded the alleged charges occurred without admitting guilt or offering a defense. It is still viewed as a guilty plea in court.

Defense attorney Shannon Demler explained that as part of the resolution, the plea will be held for 12 months and then be dismissed if Obray doesn’t commit anymore crimes.

According to prosecutors, the barn fire occurred on June 23, 2021 and caused approximately $80,000 in damages. At the time, Obray told deputies that he didn’t know how the fire started.

As the Cache County Sheriff’s Office continued their investigation, deputies learned that Obray was working at a nearby cabinet shop at the time. He was burning cardboard boxes outside, when flames ignited the neighboring barn, burning it to the ground.

Obray was booked into the Cache County Jail following the investigation and later released on pretrial supervision.

During Monday’s hearing, Judge Spencer Walsh accepted Obray’s plea agreement and ordered him to return to court in a year for a review hearing.

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