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Mount Tabor arson cases to go before grand jury this month

Previously, charges against three teenagers had been dismissed, but prosecutors explained the case remained a pending investigation.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Multnomah County District Attorney’s office plans to present evidence before a grand jury later this month against three teenagers accused of setting fires on Mount Tabor, according to Elisabeth Shepard, spokesperson for the DA’s office.

Willamette Week first reported the development Thursday afternoon.

Previously, all charges against the teenagers arrested in connection with this summer’s fires had been dismissed. At the time, Shepard said the case remained a pending investigation.

Police arrested Samuel Perkins, Malik Hares and Wayne Chen in September after a string of fires on Southeast Portland's Mount Tabor park during the peak of Portland’s fire season.

Investigators linked Hares and Perkins to at least 36 fires set on Mount Tabor between July 15 and September 9, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The affidavit suggested police caught a break in the case after Hares’ car was caught on video in the area.

In an interview with a Portland Fire and Rescue investigator, Hares admitted he didn’t know why they were starting these fires and they were just being stupid, according to the affidavit.

Perkins also confessed to setting some of the fires, the court records said.

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