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Dallas Evenstad charged with first-degree murder in fatal Chisago County fire

Man dumped gasoline on couple while they were sleeping
Man dumped gasoline on couple while they were sleeping 00:24

CHISAGO COUNTY, Minn. — A 34-year-old Albertville man faces elevated charges after he allegedly intentionally started a fire that killed one and severely injured another in Chisago County.

On Monday, the Chisago County Attorney's Office announced that Dallas Evenstad was indicted by a grand jury in late September. Evanstad now faces one count of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree and first-degree assault in connection to the June 4 incident. County prosecutors initially charged him with second-degree murder and first-degree assault.

Evenstad allegedly entered a home in Fish Lake Township around 3:30 a.m. on June 4 and dumped gasoline on two victims who were sleeping. One of the victims, later identified as 69-year-old Charles Stene, died at a hospital later that day. The sheriff's office said he had burns over a majority of his body.

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The female victim told investigators she was asleep in her bed when she woke up to the smell of gasoline and the sound of someone in the room. She reportedly saw Evenstad flick a lighter and then saw Stene run out of the room.

The victim said she knew Evenstad, as he had previously threatened Stene's adult daughter.

Evenstad was arrested the same day as the fire and remains in Chisago County Jail, held on $2 million bail. No trial date has been scheduled.

A first-degree murder charge has a potential maximum sentence of life in prison. 

NOTE: Video is from June 6, 2023, when initial charges were filed. 

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