Former Salmon Arm teacher faces more arson charges in Vernon

William Murray Phelps Munton is now facing 19 charges in connection with a series of fires between May 20 and Nov. 20, 2014.

The aftermath of a fire at Vernon's Kin Race Track.

Charges have been laid in connection with a series of arson fires in Vernon in 2014, including the one that burned down the historic grandstand at Kin Race Track.

William Murray Phelps Munton, born in 1961, was already facing four charges of intentionally or recklessly causing damage by fire or explosion to property. Munton was formerly a visual arts teacher at Salmon Arm Secondary School’s Sullivan campus, though the North Okanagan-Shuswp School District confirmed he has not worked in the school district since 2005.

Munton is now facing 19 charges, as court documents show Crown counsel has approved 15 similar charges in connection with a series of fires between May 20 and Nov. 20, 2014.

Among property damaged by fire during that span were the Kin Race Track grandstand, a pair of boats, two motorhomes, two vehicles, a duplex under construction, a recycling bin, wooden pallets and fruit boxes.

Munton is also facing the matter of two counts of making or publishing child pornography and possession of child pornography, allegedly stemming between August 2011 and August 2015.

Munton appeared in Vernon Provincial Court Thursday. His matters have been put over until Nov. 3. He is not in custody and the charges have not been proven in court.

– With files from The Salmon Arm Observer