New charges filed against Billings man

Cristoval Montanez

BILLINGS - New charges have been filed against a Billings man accused of setting fires on the Southside.

Cristoval Montanez appeared in Yellowstone County District Court on an amended affidavit Monday morning.

According to charging documents, Montanez is now accused of setting 19 fires on the Billings Southside between April 10 and May 10, 2021.

The affidavit states that Montanez's fingerprints were lifted from cardboard used in setting some of the fires. Documents also state Montanez was able to identify where the cardboard originated, adding credibility to his admissions since that information was not initially released to the public.

During phone calls with his mother and sister, he also allegedly admitted to starting the fires. In both calls, police say Montanez claimed he started the fires because his parents didn't listen to him.

Montanez's original 'not guilty' plea has been extended to include these charges. He is now being charged with one count of felony arson, or in the alternative to count one, four additional counts of felony arson.

As of June 3, 2021, the investigation is still ongoing.

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