Man enters plea

A former LaGrange County man suspected of setting fire to Welch’s Steak and Ribs in 2009 entered a plea of no contest during his appearance in St. Joseph County Circuit Court Wednesday.

Nathan Lumbard, 31, entered the plea in response to the charge of arson in exchange for a plea bargain reached with the county prosecutor’s office. For the charge of breaking and entering, Lumbard pled guilty.

He will be sentenced in mid-December, though his time behind bars in Michigan won’t happen until he completes a four-year, federal-prison sentence being served in Kentucky related to falsification of documents to obtain a passport.

Lumbard went on the lam after the arson and was eventually tracked down in the Southeast Asian country of Burma.

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