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Arson charge added in Manton motel explosion case

Arson charge added in Manton motel explosion case

The northern Michigan mother accused of blowing up a motel while making drugs could spend the rest of her life behind bars.

Amanda Skardoutos' case was bound over to Wexford County circuit court Tuesday afternoon.

In addition to several drug and child abuse charges, Skardoutos has now also been charged with first degree arson, which carries a life sentence.

Skardoutos is alleged to have caused an explosion and fire at the Green Mill Motel, while using butane to to make hash oil in her room.

Skardoutos and her two sons were badly burned in the fire.

While the defense argued that Skardoutos' alleged acts inside the hotel room did not meet the criteria of arson, the prosecutor argued that they did, and the judge agreed and continued to explain why.

"When the defendant burned, damaged, destroyed property or contents the defendant intended to burn, damage, or destroy the property of its contents. Or, and here's the important part, intentionally committed an act that creates a very high risk of burning the property or its contents, and that while committing the act the defendant knew of that risk and disregarded it," said Judge Audrey Van Alst.

Wexford County Prosecutor, Jason Elmore, asked Van Alst to modify Skardoutos' bond so that she may not have contact with her oldest son, Brian, because he is now considered a witness.

Val Alst granted the request.

The case now moves forward to circuit court.

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