Eight new animal abuse charges for alleged arsonist during Almeda fire

MEDFORD, Ore. –The man accused of setting a fire in Phoenix that merged with the Almeda fire is facing eight new criminal charges of animal abuse.

According to documents filed by Jackson County Chief Deputy District Attorney, Bakkela caused the death of a sheep, canary, lamb, goldfish, two chickens and a raccoon.

Bakkela has pleaded not guilty to the animal abuse charges.

The assistant manager of investigations at PETA, Colin Henstock said, PETA’s grateful that the authorities took these animals agonizing deaths seriously. We’re grateful that the animals will receive at least some measure of justice.”

Bakkela has pleaded not guilty to all 32 separate charges against him including arson, criminal mischief and reckless endangerment. He is currently being held on more than $5 million bail.

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Madison LaBerge
Madison LaBerge is the anchor of NBC5 News Weekends at 6 and 11. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Madison is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She loves living in the Pacific Northwest. She can't get over "how green everything is!" When Madison is not at work, she looks for new and exciting cooking recipes and explores Southern Oregon. Feel free to send her story ideas or the address of your favorite Mexican food restaurant!
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