Portland arson suspect heading to trial, victims still recovering

The May Apartments arson trial begins June 6 as the accused Garrett Allen Ray Repp pleads not guilty
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 5:48 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - A man accused of starting a massive apartment building fire last month in Southwest Portland appeared in court Monday to be arraigned on his charges, and pled not guilty to all counts.

Garrett Repp is accused of starting on May 16 that destroyed May apartments, and displaced roughly 33 people, according to Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt.

Schmidt announced Monday afternoon that Repp, a resident of the May, was indicted on 55 charges, among them 28 counts of arson and 21 counts of recklessly endangering another person. Repp did not say a word Monday when his lawyer entered his not guilty plea, setting the stage for a trial in the coming months.

Court documents list May resident Gabby Kielhorn as a victim. She lived on the fourth floor just above Repp in the May at the time of the fire. She says she was able to move into another apartment elsewhere this week, but some of her neighbors are still struggling.

“I am really as good as can be,” she said. “I am blessed beyond words and measures. I’ve never been very grateful for being alive, I am so grateful for my life.”

Kielhorn says Repp displayed hostile behavior to her and others in the building in the months leading up to the fire.

She also says she was grateful to have made her voice heard this week in front of the grand jury that indicted Repp, in the hopes justice will be served.

“I’ve been thinking about it, I haven’t been able to escape it for six months and this feels like the first breath of fresh air I’ve been able to get.”

Repp’s next court date is set for June 23 where a hearing will be held on whether he can be released on bail during his trial.