MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 49-year-old man is charged with murder, arson and assault in connection with a deadly fire in Finlayson in March.

The Pine County Sheriff’s office says Robert Sam Raisch Jr. will face charges for second-degree murder, first-degree arson and first-degree assault.

Investigators believe Raisch Jr. struck James Michael Shepardson in the head, and then set fire to him and his trailer home on Hammond Road on the morning of March 7.

Crews discovered Shepardson’s remains after the fire was put out. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide from thermal injuries and blunt force trauma to the head.

Raisch could face up to 80 years in prison if convicted.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the State Fire Marshal’s office assisted in the investigation.

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