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Vernon arson suspect to stand trial

Matthew Eric Mason is the suspect tied to a fire that destroyed a Coldstream home in early 2022
Firefighters in Coldstream are battling a major house fire on Hawthorne Place Friday, Jan. 14. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

A preliminary inquiry has wrapped up for a North Okanagan arson suspect, who will soon be tried by judge and jury.

Matthew Eric Mason of Vernon had a preliminary inquiry in Vernon provincial court May 24. Mason was charged with arson in relation to a fire that destroyed a home on Hawthorne Place in Coldstream Jan. 14, 2022.

Mason’s next court hearing is June 12 at the Vernon Law Courts for the purpose of fixing a date for trial, confirmed Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel for the BC Prosecution Service.

Mason will be tried by judge and jury in B.C. Supreme Court. He originally elected to be tried by judge alone, but changed his mind at a Vernon court hearing Tuesday, May 2.

Mason, born in 1983, also faces a charge of a breach of release order. He was previously convicted of criminal harassment related to an incident that took place Nov. 5, 2021.

READ MORE: Vernon man charged with arson to be tried by judge and jury

READ MORE: Arson suspect facing trial for Coldstream home fire

Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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