Pal’s Shanty arson accomplice admits guilt

Michael James Duncan, 32, will be sentenced in July

Michael James Duncan in a 2013 photo from the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office
Michael James Duncan in a 2013 photo from the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The longtime friend of a man who started the fire at Pal’s Shanty admitted he helped that man cover up the crime.

Michael James Duncan pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact.

On the night of the fire, November 15, 2013, Marcus Tyler set a fire at the Northeast Portland tavern, then was burned as he tried to get away. Duncan drove Tyler away from the fire and took him back to his house to treat his burns.

But the burns were too severe, and about an hour later Duncan called for an ambulance. He told investigators he did not know Tyler, and instead just found a naked man who was burned and brought him home to begin treatment.

The two men have been friends since high school.

Duncan, 32, also told his girlfriend to lie to the police about the circumstances.

With his guilty plea, Duncan faces up to 15 years in prison, a fine of up to $125,000 and three years of supervised release. He will be sentenced July 6.

Tyler already admitted his guilt. He will be sentenced June 24 and faces a mandatory minimum of seven years in prison.

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