HERMISTON — Bradley John Bettencourt of Hermiston could take a plea deal in an arson case.
Bettencourt, 30, has pleaded not guilty to one count of recklessly endangering another person and two of first-degree arson stemming from the Sept. 24 fire in his residence at 37 Dogwood Ave., Hermiston. The recklessly endangering charge is a misdemeanor, but arson is a class A felony in Oregon.
Umatilla County Fire District crews responded that morning to the home for a small fire on the kitchen floor. Battalion chief Ed Clark said at the time the fire did not cause structure damage. One person was in the house, a woman who does not live there, he said, and she stamped out the flames. Clark also reported someone may have started the fire intentionally but police do not think it was the woman.
Hermiston police that day arrested Bettencourt for arson, vandalism and violating parole sanctions. He has been in the Umatilla County Jail, Pendleton, since.
Circuit court records show the district attorney’s office charged Bettencourt on Nov. 8, and Thursday morning Judge Christopher Brauer set a change of plea hearing for Dec. 10. He also kept the trial readiness hearing in the case on the schedule for Dec. 13.