A preliminary inquiry has wrapped up for a North Okanagan arson suspect, who will soon be tried by judge and jury.
Matthew Eric Mason of Vernon had a preliminary inquiry in Vernon provincial court May 24. Mason was charged with arson in relation to a fire that destroyed a home on Hawthorne Place in Coldstream Jan. 14, 2022.
Mason’s next court hearing is June 12 at the Vernon Law Courts for the purpose of fixing a date for trial, confirmed Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel for the BC Prosecution Service.
Mason will be tried by judge and jury in B.C. Supreme Court. He originally elected to be tried by judge alone, but changed his mind at a Vernon court hearing Tuesday, May 2.
Mason, born in 1983, also faces a charge of a breach of release order. He was previously convicted of criminal harassment related to an incident that took place Nov. 5, 2021.