Skip to content

Date to be set for Kaslo arson trial

Alejandro Calderon allegedly set a fire inside a Home Hardware
A Kaslo man is awaiting trial after allegedly trying to burn down this Home Hardware store. Photo: Google Maps

by Rachael Lesosky

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice

A Kaslo-area man is waiting to find out when he’ll face the judge for charges of arson, break and enter, and mischief.

On May 6, Alejandro Calderon appeared online in a Nelson Supreme Court room. He is currently at a recovery house in the Lower Mainland, serving a 14-month conditional sentence for assault of a Kaslo woman in 2022. The two cases are unrelated.

He will appear in court again on June 3 to set a date for the trial. Calderon elected to be tried by a BC Supreme Court judge, without a jury.

At the hearing on May 6, Crown lawyer Keven Schecter said there is significant community concern surrounding the case, and that there should be some urgency around fixing a date for the trial in the near future.

Calderon is in the process of finding new representation, after lawyer Don White stepped down from the case.

Calderon was charged after an incident at the Home Hardware in Kaslo on Dec. 6, 2022. A man was seen breaking the window in the front door of the store, throwing a jerry can into the building, and setting it on fire. The man was stopped by a passerby and several others were able to put out the flames.

The first day of Calderon’s preliminary inquiry was on Dec. 6, 2023, exactly a year after the incident occurred.

A preliminary inquiry is used in serious criminal cases to determine whether the evidence assembled by the Crown against an accused person is sufficient to proceed with a trial.