CF woman takes plea deal in arson case


CRYSTAL FALLS — A Crystal Falls woman will be sentenced Aug. 13 after taking a plea deal on arson charges in Iron County Trial Court.

Rachael Joy Kirschner, 26, pleaded no contest to second degree arson, a 20-year felony, in exchange for Iron County Prosecutor Melissa Powell dismissing charges of conspiracy to commit second degree arson, also a 20-year felony, and lying to a peace officer, a two-year high court misdemeanor.

Kirschner’s co-defendant, 22-year-old Troy Daniel Evert Jr. of Crystal Falls, accepted a similar deal last month and will be sentenced Aug. 6.

Now that both have entered pleas, Judge C. Joseph Schwedler granted a request to allow Kirschner to visit Evert in jail. The two are married and Kirschner recently gave birth to their child, defense attorney Geoffrey Lawrence said.

Iron County deputy sheriffs were called Oct. 7 to the Fortune Lake area of Crystal Falls Township for a cabin engulfed in flames that eventually burned to the ground and was ruled a total loss, according to the initial press release.

Kirschner told a Niagara, Wis., man she and Evert had run into one of her ex-boyfriends, who called her a “whore,” according to court records from a related Marinette County case.

Kirschner and Evert then went out to the ex-boyfriend’s vacant cabin, where Evert poured gasoline around the interior and Kirschner tossed a firecracker on it, records state.

The Niagara man threatened to inform police about the arson.

Evert reportedly told a friend in Illinois he wanted the Niagara man dead, and Kirschner told 32-year-old Scott Lee Reed of Crystal Falls he would have to hurt the Niagara man if the Illinois man was unwilling to do it, according to court records.

Reed reportedly went to the Niagara man’s home Dec. 17 and told him to “stop messing with” Kirschner before stabbing him in the right forearm with a 3-inch knife, records state.

As a result, Evert and Reed also face conspiracy to commit first degree intentional homicide charges in Marinette County Court.