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Teen charged with injuring people in bonfire explosion pleads no contest

Samuel Armstrong appeared before a judge in the Shawano County Courthouse as the case against him draws to a close.
Posted at 6:28 PM, Feb 05, 2024
  • Samuel Armstrong pleads no contest to 13 felony counts
  • He's accused of throwing gasoline on a fire at a bonfire near Pulaski, injuring more than a dozen people
  • Armstrong will be sentenced in the spring

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

A teen facing felony charges for putting gasoline on a fire and injuring over a dozen people has entered a plea in court. I'm Pari Apostolakos reporting from the Shawano County Courthouse where earlier today Samuel Armstrong appeared before a judge.

Samuel Armstrong pleaded no contest to 13 felony charges, each for injuring a different person by negligent use of fire explosives.

The state requested Armstrong serve five years of probation and six months in jail, plus no contact with victims. Prosecutors also recommend Armstrong attends alcohol and substance abuse counseling and stays completely sober.

Several of the victims’ family members sat in the gallery for the hearing.

As we've previously reported,Armstrong and another person were accused of placing a 55 gallon plastic drum of gasoline near a bonfire in October of 2022. Police say it caused an explosion and hurt many people at a party after a football game near Pulaski.

Armstrong's sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 11. In Shawano County, Pari Apostolakos NBC 26.