view counter
view counter

Guilty Plea In Deadly Barn Fire

Published: October 18, 2017 12:51 pm ET

No Comments | Jump to Comments

A man has pled guilty to setting a fire at a barn that killed 13 horses this past April.

According to an article on, Payton Mellema recently agreed to a plea deal in connection to the deadly April 8, 2017 fire at The Barn for Equine Learning in western Michigan.

The fire that Mellema set thoroughly burnt a 12-stall barn. Thirteen of the 15 horses that were on the property lost their lives in the blaze. The two horses that survived had been new additions to the property.

The Barn for Equine Learning, which is a not-for-profit organization, provides youth and adults the opportunity to discover new experiences, challenge themselves, and grow through the healing power of horses in a therapeutic setting. The Barn’s horses had also spent time with the students in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) programs.

A shot of the aftermath of a tragic barn fire in Michigan

According to the article, Mellema, who lived close to the property that housed the barn, will spend three years at a mental health facility as part of the plea agreement.

Mellema also pled guilty to animal cruelty and arson charges as part of the agreement. He is scheduled to be back in court on October 31.

(With files from

view counter

© 2021 Standardbred Canada. All rights reserved. Use of this site signifies your agreement and compliance with the legal disclaimer and privacy policy.

Firefox 3 Best with IE 7 Built with Drupal