Pretrial motions began Nov. 12 in Beal case

GUELPH – The Justin Nicholas Johnathon Beal arson case continues this week.

After a “to be spoken to” appearance at the Ontario Superior Court in Guelph in August, the case started  pretrial motions on Nov. 12 – expected to continue until Nov. 15. The court appearance comes more than two years after Beal was first charged with six counts of arson.

His matter was previously handled in the Ontario Court of Justice, but was moved to Superior Court after a March discovery hearing.

Beal was charged in connection with six fires in October 2017, and a seventh fire in January 2018.

From September 2016 to August 2017, Wellington County OPP and fire officials responded to numerous suspicious fires, most of which were in abandoned rural homes and buildings.

A multi-jurisdictional team consisting of police, fire officials and the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office investigated a total of 18 fires.

Beal was charged in relation to the following fires:

– Oct. 14, 2016 house fire at 5230 Third Line, Guelph-Eramosa;

– Oct. 19, 2016 house fire at 5292 Third Line, Guelph-Eramosa;

– Dec. 5, 2016 barn fire at 7070 Fife Road in Guelph-Eramosa;

– Feb. 3, 2017 shed fire at 6873 Highway 7 Guelph-Eramosa;

– Feb. 3, 2017 house and barn fire at 5413 Township Road 3, Guelph-Eramosa;

– June 25, 2017 shed fire at 5324 Wellington Road 125, Erin; and

– June 25, 2017 house fire at 8813 Sideroad 27, Erin.