Benner prison inmate set for trial on arson charges

A Benner state prison inmate is headed to trial on charges stemming from a March fire.

Quintez Talley, 28, was bound over on two counts of arson with danger of death or bodily injury, one count of arson of an inhabited building or structure, one count of aggravated assault, one count of arson endangering property, and one count of reckless endangerment, all felonies, as well as misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment and institutional vandalism.

Talley, who acted as his own attorney in the case, argued that arson charges were really not appropriate, as he was burning paper in his cell, not the cement building, which can’t burn. He also argued that the aggravated assault charges were misplaced in at least one of the cases since the corrections officer in that case was not treated for burns or smoke inhalation outside the facility.

District Judge Allen Sinclair disagreed, binding Talley over on all charges, except a summary count of criminal mischief.

Talley also asked for the court to intercede in his case, saying it was unfair for the witnesses in the case, corrections officers still employed at Benner, to be in positions of authority over him, including having the ability to deny him access to the prison’s law library to prepare his case. Talley was directed to bring his concerns to the state Department of Corrections.