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Published August 10, 2009, 03:58 PM

Man who set Fargo fires during flood fight receives 7-year sentence

A Fargo man who set fire to two garages in his flood-threatened neighborhood on April 1, four days after the Red River crested, was sentenced to seven years in prison Monday.

By: Forum staff reports, INFORUM

A Fargo man who set fire to two garages in his flood-threatened neighborhood on April 1, four days after the Red River crested, was sentenced to seven years in prison Monday.

The sentence for Michael Lee Duray was double the 3½ years recommended by Assistant State’s Attorney Tristan Van de Streek and four years more than what Duray’s attorney sought.

Explaining his decision, East Central Judicial District Judge John Irby said the arsons happened at a particularly stressful time due to the floods. He also noted that Duray was out on bail at the time, accused of a string if similar crimes in Grand Forks, N.D.

The sentencing also requires Duray to receive a psychological evaluation and a chemical dependence evaluation. Restitution will be set at a later hearing.

Blake Hankey, Duray’s attorney, said his client is unsure of why he sets fires.

“He wants help,” Hankey said.

For more on this story, read The Forum on Tuesday.

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