Man to get 3 years in prison for GOP fire

By The Laramie Boomerang

Via Wyoming News Exchange

LARAMIE — The 27-year-old who set fire to the Albany County Republican Party headquarters in September agreed to a plea agreement that will put him in prison for at least 44 months.

In Judge Scott Skavdahl’s Casper court, Kellen Sorber pleaded guilty Wednesday. He will be sentenced March 15.

Sorber was identified as the main suspect for the Sept. 6 fire at Laramie’s 214 Ivinson Ave. building after ATF agents identified his DNA at the scene.

The ATF investigated the case and began questioning him at the place he worked — the Speedgoat Café.

Sorber was calm about the ATF investigation until agents arrived Oct. 16 with a warrant for a DNA swab.

He skipped his shift that night and disappeared from town.

The ATF later put out a $5,000 reward for the man and he turned himself in.

After the GOP headquarters was set ablaze, Laramie Police Department detective Joel Senior discovered a cinderblock that had been apparently thrown through the window.

A partially burnt cigarette was also discovered and was analyzed for DNA evidence.

That same day, agents from the ATF arrived in Laramie to help with the investigation.

DNA found on a piece of cinderblock was consistent with the DNA found on the cigarette, according to an affidavit of probable cause by ATF special agent Alex Buehler.

When agents reviewed security footage from downtown cameras, they saw a man — later identified as Sorber — park a bicycle at the Speedgoat Café at about 2:19 a.m.

The man then picked up a cinderblock and walked toward the GOP office, which was out of view of the security camera.

Buehler said the suspect resembled an employee at the Speedgoat Café — Sorber.

On Oct. 4, an undercover ATF agent engaged in conversation with Sorber at the Speedgoat Café in order to “surreptitiously obtain DNA.”

The agent collected a beer can Sorber was drinking from and later had it tested. That DNA matched the DNA collected during the original crime scene investigation.