The fire man returneth?


A new sentence ordered for Alan Enger

class=img_thumbleft> As reported recently in the Star Tribune, the Minnesota Court of Appeals has ordered a resentencing for convicted arsonist Alan Enger (pictured left).

According to the story, "Judges Gordon Shumaker, Thomas Kalitowski and Kevin Ross said the sentence must be reversed because the dangerous-offender statute under which Enger was convicted is unconstitutional because a judge, not a jury, made the finding."

Enger, 41, had been sentenced to 10 years, with no time off for good behavior, after he pled guilty to second-degree arson for setting fire to a vacant duplex in the 2300 block of NE Polk Street in Minneapolis on December 8, 2004. As reported in City Pages, Enger is so well known on the streets of Nordeast that he's earned the nickname "Backdraft." (See "The Fire Man," CP 2/1/2006.)

The future of Enger's sentence has caused some consternation; Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar has said that the 10-year sentence is what Enger deserves, and has vowed to take the case to the state Supreme Court.

And one of the people most familiar with Enger, MPD arson investigator Sean McKenna, is equally vexed.

"This is not good news," McKenna says in an e-mail to Blotter, noting that Enger has prior convictions. "He lives with his mother and as long as she lives on NE Polk Street, he will as well. History shows him to be a recidivist.

"If Alan Enger is out in three years and two months," McKenna continues, speculating on Enger's possible new sentence, "the Fall of 2008 is going to be pretty interesting in northeast Minneapolis."