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Court Appearance For Man Accused of Arson Postponed

Status report, along with other scheduled proceedings, pushed back Friday.

The status conference for the Zion Road man who was indicted for allegedly setting fire to a historic barn on Amwell Road in March was canceled last-minute Friday morning.

Curtis Westover, 69, was to appear before Somerset County Superior Court Judge Julie Marino for at 9 a.m. for the conference. However, the judge's entire calendar was canceled for the day. 

Westover is now scheduled to attend court on Oct. 5.

The conference was scheduled about a month after Westover was denied entry into the state’s pre-trial intervention program which, if completed successfully, would have led to the dismissal of the second-degree aggravated arson charge.

Westover’s application for PTI was rejected Aug. 23 by Elizabeth Lipari, the director of Somerset County's PTI program. According to court papers, Westover’s application was rejected based on the nature of the charge.

The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office agreed with Lipari’s decision. Assistant Prosecutor Frank Kolozieski wrote in a letter that despite Westover’s age and his lack of a previous record, the case was “outrageous” and “worthy” of a traditional prosecution.

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