The preliminary hearing of a man charged with setting seven rural fires in 2016 and 2017 began in Guelph on Wednesday.
Justin Beal, 29, stands accused of setting the fires over an eight-month period from Oct. 14, 2016 to June 25, 2017.
In a Guelph courtroom Wednesday Beal chose to be tried by judge and jury. A trial date has not yet been set.
There is a publication ban on any evidence presented at the three-day preliminary hearing.
In October of 2017 Beal was arrested in Rockwood and charged with six counts of arson. In January of 2018 he was charged with setting a seventh fire.
The fires took place in Wellington County and involved abandoned barns, sheds and buildings.
The fires he is charged with setting are:
Oct. 14, 2016: abandoned barn onThird Line Guelph/Eramosa Township.
Oct. 19, 2016: abandoned farmhouse on Third Line, Guelph/Eramosa Township.
Dec. 5, 2016: abandoned barn on Fife Road, Guelph/Eramosa Township
Feb. 3, 2017: shed on Highway 7, Guelph/Eramosa Township
Feb. 3, 2017: abandoned house and barn fire on Township Road 3, Guelph/Eramosa Township.
June 25, 2017: abandoned gatehouse, Sideroad 10, Erin
June 25, 2017: abandoned house and barn Wellington Road 125, Erin