Pullman Arson Suspect Enters Guilty Plea - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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Pullman Arson Suspect Enters Guilty Plea

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Bryan Lee Kitchen, the man accused of setting this fire at The Grove Apartments in Pullman in July, 2013 entered a guilty plea in court this week Bryan Lee Kitchen, the man accused of setting this fire at The Grove Apartments in Pullman in July, 2013 entered a guilty plea in court this week
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Bryan Lee Kitchen, the man accused of setting a fire that destroyed an apartment complex under construction in Pullman and caused millions of dollars worth of damage, entered a guilty plea in Federal Court this week. 

In July 2013, The Grove Apartments in Pullman went up in flames, causing $13 million dollars worth of damage. The apartment complex was under construction, but was due to open in August of 2013 and had students already to move-in. A subsequent investigation into the fire determined that it was arson. 

Court documents show that exactly one hour before the fire was reported, a Pullman Police Officer saw a red 2003 Saturn parked across the street from the apartment complex unoccupied. The officer ran a registration check on the car and learned it belonged to Kitchen. One hour later at 3:16am, the fire was reported. 

Police contacted Kitchen as his apartment eight days after the fire. In an interview with detectives, Kitchen, who was working as a plumber on the construction site, admitted to setting the fire using a Bic lighter and some construction materials. Kitchen also told detectives he added fuel materials from the construction site to make the fire bigger. 

According to the documents obtained by KHQ, Kitchen agreed to a plea deal on Monday. Kitchen is being charged with a Class C felony of Malicious Use of Fire to Damage Property Used in Interstate Commerce, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, with a 5 year minimum. Under the plea deal, both parties agreed to recommend a sentence of 52 months in prison. 

It is now up the a Federal Judge to either accept or deny the plea agreement, a decision that is expected in April. Under the plea agreement, if the judge decides to sentence Kitchen to longer than 52 months, Kitchen can withdraw his guilty plea. 

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