District Attorney Eddie Wyant has filed charges against two men in connection with a Wyandotte fire.
Justin Lee Kissire, 19, of Wyandotte and Steven Kyle VanBenthusen, 18, of Tulsa have been charged with one count each of second-degree arson, second-degree burglary and threatening to perform an act of violence in connection with a house fire on June 14.
According to court records, Kissire, VanBenthusen and a juvenile male instigated a confrontation in the Sunshine Valley residential area with a group of young girls who were driving through the area.
Witnesses told authorities that the juvenile male struck the female driver in the face and Kissire pulled a pistol from his pocket and threatened to shoot the girls.
Witnesses also heard the boys threaten to burn one of the female passenger's house down.
According to Ottawa County Deputy Justin Judd, neighbors witnessed the young males “terrorizing” the neighborhood throughout the day - smashing mailboxes, throwing rocks through windows of unoccupied homes and making threats toward residents.
At approximately 8:10 p.m., firefighters responded to a house fire at the intersection of Oklahoma Highway 10 and East 176 Road.
Wyandotte Fire Chief Jodi Francisco determined that the house had been set on fire. Francisco told authorities that several items from the house had been moved to the southeast corner of the trailer house at which point the fire was set.
A neighbor witnessed the accused enter the unoccupied trailer house prior to the fire starting and also heard the subjects say that if they were questioned they would tell authorities they were all at their grandmother's house when the trailer caught on fire.
After taking Kissire and VanBenthusen into custody, Judd captured a conversation between the two on his patrol recorder in which the boys threatened to kill anyone who said they were involved. The boys also allegedly stated that they would blame the house fire on the juvenile subject.
Approximately two hours later, the juvenile male was found hiding in his grandmother's home. No charges had been filed against the juvenile at press time.
If convicted, Kissire and VanBenthusen face up to 25 years in prison.