Minn. man convicted of setting own house on fire

6:28 PM, Nov 3, 2012   |    comments
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LITTLE FALLS, Minn. - A Hillman man whose home was facing foreclosure has been convicted of setting the house on fire for the insurance money.

Jurors deliberated for four hours this week before finding 53-year-old Randy Donald Reed guilty of first-degree arson. A Brainerd Dispatch report says he's scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 9.

Prosecutors say a fire marshal concluded that the cause of the fire was a butane torch. The investigator told authorities the torch was apparently used to ignite gasoline at four different spots in the basement.

Reed told investigators he had no idea who would have wanted to commit the arson. He also acknowledged that he was behind on his mortgage.

Defense attorney Mark Kelly of St. Paul said Saturday his client was wrongfully convicted based on circumstantial evidence.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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