UPDATE — Sickles Avoids Jail, Manasil Doesn’t

Primghar, Iowa — Sentences were handed down in O’Brien County District Court in Primghar this morning in two cases involving the fire that destroyed Buddz’s and the Rec Bowl in Sheldon in May, 2013.

Buddz's FireYou may recall that the owner of the business, Kristina Manasil of Sheldon, along with her then-boyfriend Adam Sickles, were charged with 1st Degree arson in connection with the blaze.  In addition, Manasil was charged with Insurance Fraud for attempting to collect on the fire insurance that covered her business.  Both individuals initially pleaded not guilty to the charges.  Then, in April of this year, Sickles reached an agreement with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to 2nd Degree Arson.  Manasil maintained her innocence, and went to trial in May of this year.  As part of his plea agreement, Sickles testified for the prosecution in Manasil’s trial.  An O’Brien County jury found Manasil guilty of both 1st Degree Arson and Insurance Fraud.

Sentencing in both cases was scheduled for this morning.  In the case of Adam Sickles, Judge Don Courtney sentenced Sickles to 3 years probation, along with restitution.  Assistant Iowa Attorney General Coleman McAllister prosecuted the case, and explains Sickles’ sentence.

Following her conviction, Kristina Manasil’s attorney had filed an appeal of her conviction claiming, among other things, that the evidence in the case had failed to prove the prosecution’s case against his client.  Judge Courtney denied the request for a new trial this morning, and handed down what could be a lengthy prison sentence to Manasil.  McAllister explains the sentence.

McAllister says that, with Manasil’s conviction and sentencing, the case is now concluded, pending any successful future appeals.

McAllister went on to explain where Manasil goes from here.

As for the restitution to Terry and Arlene Budden, McAllister explains.

That’s Iowa Assistant State Attorney General Coleman McAllister, who prosecuted the cases against Sickles and Manasil.