Tonight we grieved for Steve Posniak, the only human casualty of the Ham Lake Fire
Man accused of starting BWCA fire has killed himself
Last update: December 16, 2008 - 10:16 PM
An attorney for a Washington, D.C., man accused of starting a wildfire that charred 118 square miles in Minnesota and Canada last year said Tuesday that his client had committed suicide.
Mark Larsen said Tuesday that a relative of Stephen Posniak's told him Posniak, 64, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Posniak was charged with allowing his campfire to burn out of control in May 2007. The fire spread in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Superior National Forest in Minnesota and into Ontario, destroying nearly 150 buildings worth more than $10 million.
Larsen says they felt Posniak, who pleaded not guilty last month, was overcharged in the case. The Minneapolis attorney said that he spoke to Posniak on Monday and that he was "acute in his thinking and quite pleasant over the phone."