Trial date set in fire that killed student

A trial date has been set for one of two people from Linn charged with murder in connection with the death of a Linn State Tech student in a two-story structure fire that occurred in October 2009 on the downtown square in Linn.

Johnathan Tharp, 35, will have his case heard in St. Charles County during the week of May 23. It was moved there on a change of venue.

Lisa Willer, 35, is currently serving time in state prison on an unrelated charge and is to be back in court in this case in December.

Willer and Tharp are believed to have been making methamphetamine in a room at Judy’s Cafe and Hotel. The mixture caught fire and got out of control. A next-door neighbor, Daniel Mittenburg, 20, Clinton, died of smoke inhalation. Willer and Tharp fled from the building, but were eventually caught and charged. The building was a complete loss.

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