Woman Who Allegedly Started The Fire That Burned Down Jim’s Bar Makes First Appearance In Court

CUSTER COUNTY—The woman who allegedly lit a fire in Jim’s Bar in Arnold made her first appearance in Custer County Court on Monday, April 1. Jane Chestnutt, 54 of Emerson, is facing three counts that include 2nd degree arson (class III felony), criminal mischief (class IV felony), and burning to fraud an insurer (class IV felony). Chestnutt pled not guilty on all three charges and had her case set for preliminary hearing on April 25 at 10 AM.

Ryan Frawley, 32 of Broken Bow, is facing three counts of alleged child abuse from a previous case and is now looking at an alleged burglary charge (class IIA felony). Frawley is currently being represented by Kyle Petersen in another case and Judge Tami Schendt also appointed Petersen to represent Frawley in the felony cases.

Frawley pled not guilty to the charges and also elected to waive his preliminary hearing and his case was bound over to Custer County District Court where he will be arraigned on April 18 at 9:30 AM.

Matthew McAlevy, 26 of Merna could spend the next 50+ years in prison if found guilty of two separate felonies. McAlevy is currently being charged with sexual assault of a minor by use of an electronic device (class ID felony), and enticement of a minor by us of electronic device (class IV felony).

McAlevy did ask for a court appointed attorney which was granted by Judge Schednt. McAlevy was appointed Christopher Wickham to represent him in the case and his case was scheduled for preliminary hearing on April 15 at 3:30 PM. A bond review was briefly heard on the case which remained the same at 10% of $75,000.

Eric Roney, 28 of Broken Bow, will be released from jail after taking a plea deal with the state that allowed him to be released after spending a week in a Custer County jail cell. Roney was initially charged with three felonies that included use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, terroristic threats, and 3rd degree assault.

With the plea deal, the state dropped the two felony charges and Roney pled guilty to the 3rd degree assault, a class I misdemeanor. The parties also proceeded to sentencing which was also included in the plea deal where it was agreed that Roney would be sentenced to seven days in jail and being given credit for seven days already served.