The owner of the Emperor of India Thai King restaurant pleaded innocent to a felony charge of malicious injury to a property on the 700 block of Preston Avenue in Lewiston in 2nd District Court on Thursday afternoon. A jury trial is set for Aug. 3.

Praveen K. Khurana, 59, of Lewiston, faces a maximum penalty in Idaho on malicious injury to property of five years in prison and a $1,000 fine, if convicted on the felony charge.

Khurana appeared before 2nd District Judge Jay Gaskill through a Zoom meeting Thursday. Gaskill set the trial date for Aug. 3 with a final pretrial conference set for July 23. Lawyers in the case have until July 9 to file any pretrial motions in the case.

Khurana was arrested on the Preston Avenue incident last December as he watched his Lewiston restaurant on Main Street burn down. The investigation into the cause of the restaurant fire continues, according to the Idaho State Fire Marshal’s office with the Idaho Department of Insurance.

Khurana is accused of causing $18,665 of damage to a home at 732 Preston Ave. sometime between Nov. 23, 2018, and Jan. 3, 2019. Khurana had allegedly threatened to damage the home if he was forced to move out, court records said.

Khurana was evicted from the property that is owned by the estate of Delores Adamson, whose personal representative is the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, court records said.

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