Man gets 25 years for setting fires at NW Wisconsin reservation

MADISON — A judge has sentenced a Hayward man to 25 years in prison for setting a half-dozen fires on the Lac Courte Oreilles (LA’-coot-ah-ray) reservation because he thought a tribal member had placed a curse on him.

Sawyer County Judge John Yackel sentenced 45-year-old Christopher Grover on Monday. A jury found him guilty of 15 counts of arson and criminal damage to property in September.

According to a criminal complaint, Grover set fires on July 14, 2012, at a ceremonial lodge, wigwams, a motor home, pow wow grounds, a drum dance circle and two sweat lodges.

Police found him hiding in an outhouse on his step-father’s property the next day. His step-father told investigators that Grover thought a tribal member cursed him shortly before he set the fires.