Zaccary Kern Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Zaccary Kern Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison

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BILLINGS - After over a year of waiting, Zaccary Kern was sentenced for the Lockwood Trailer fire,which took the life of Amber-Marie Beyers, 33; Brandi Hansen Moats, 25; Donavon Fogle, 25; and Fogle’s cousin, 28-year-old Troy Saylor.

Kern admitted to lighting a napkin on fire, then putting it out. However, he insisted Robert Eric Bottenhagen lit the apron, which ultimately caused the blaze.

Kern sat through emotional testimony from victims related to the deceased.

After sitting through mothers, a brother, a cousin, and even his mom give heartbreaking testimony, he stood up to read a statement to the families.

Kern said he was very sorry for his actions and told the families he couldn't imagine what they were going through. Through tears, he said it must hurt really bad. Soon after, a woman in the courtroom said, "like burning alive?"

After all the testimony, Judge Fagg heard both the prosecution and defense's final statements, then gave Kern a stern talk. 

Fagg told Kern the worst part about the situation is that he orphaned eight children.  Fagg followed the state's recommendation with 35 years, and 10 of those suspended.

While being led away, Kern told his mother he loved her.

Scott Twito, Yellowstone County Attorney, says he's pleased the judge agreed with sentence. He says the try to do their best under the principles of the law and this sentence was very appropriate.

Robert Eric Bottenhagen will face sentencing July 1st. He could face up to 80 years in prison.
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