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Man Confirms Guilty Plea In July 5 WI Meatpacking Fire

Tue, 09/01/2009 - 6:11am

MILWAUKEE (AP) — One of two brothers accused of starting a $50 million fire at a Cudahy meatpacking plant pleaded guilty Tuesday.

Prosecutors say 25-year-old Kurtis Popp fired a military flare July 5 given to him by his brother. The flare landed on a roof at the Patrick Cudahy Inc. meatpacking plant and ignited the fire.

Popp's attorney, Julius Kim, says an agreement with prosecutors adds 'party to' the crime of second-degree recklessly endangering safety. He says it's not a lesser offense but acknowledges that Popp didn't know the flare's capability. Prosecutors agree to recommend up to a year in the House of Correction, three years probation, community service and a stayed prison sentence.

Sentencing is scheduled Oct. 26.

His 23-year-old brother, Joshua Popp, already pleaded guilty in a similar agreement and will be sentenced Oct. 8.

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