WAUSAU —A judge has denied a request by one of two suspects accused of arson in a 2016 blaze that badly damaged a west side tavern in Wausau.
Tony Patterson Jr., 39, of Wausau, appeared Tuesday in Marathon County Circuit Court, where he asked Judge Jill Falstad to reduce his $5,000 cash bond in the case. His request was declined.
Patterson, along with 33-year-old Robert F. Hernandez, both face felony arson charges in connection with the Aug. 4, 2016 blaze at Cabaret, 204 E. Rib Mountain Drive. Charges were filed in the case in September 2017.
During the investigation into the fire, police interviewed a bartender who reported Patterson had been booted from the bar in July 2016 and had been seen driving past the bar repeatedly in the days leading up to the fire, according to court documents. The car Patterson was riding in was allegedly owned by the girlfriend of Hernandez, police said.
Police said witnesses also came forward who allegedly saw Patterson with Hernandez shortly after the blaze began, according to court documents.
The felony arson charge carries a maximum penalty of up to 40 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.
An attorney for Patterson withdrew from the case in August and none of the more than 50 attorneys contacted by the public defender’s office have yet agreed to take on the case, according to court documents. A status hearing is set for Dec. 19.