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Man admits to murder in meth fire

By Amy Olson

aolson@postbulletin.com

A 35-year-old Austin man involved in a methamphetamine-related house explosion and fire pleaded guilty Wednesday to third-degree murder and is expected to spend the next eight years in prison.

Troy A. Meyer pleaded guilty in Mower District Court to one count of third-degree murder in the death of 42-year-old James Chilson, who died of severe burns in February 2001 following the Jan. 13, 2001, explosion of a meth lab in Austin.

Meyer's attorney, Paul Spyhalski, said the plea agreement calls for Meyer to serve a 12-year prison sentence with time off for good behavior, Meyer could serve about eight years before being released.

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The case was the first of its kind in Minnesota and had been scheduled for trial in late October.

Meyer will be held without bond at the Mower County Jail pending sentencing.

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