Forum staff reports, Published September 04 2012
Fargo man gets two years in prison for setting fire to couchFARGO – A man who set a couch on fire in his north Fargo apartment after an argument with another tenant on Feb. 26 was sentenced Tuesday to two years in prison.
Jesse Jonathan Miller pleaded guilty in Cass County District Court to one count of endangering by fire or explosion, a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
He was sentenced to two years in prison and three years of supervised probation, with credit for 192 days in jail since his arrest.
A psychological evaluation was ordered, and the restitution claims period was left open for 60 days, Assistant State’s Attorney Tracy Peters said.
According to court documents, a witness told police that another tenant in the three-unit building at 1217 10th Ave. N. had earlier yelled at Miller about loud music coming from his basement apartment. The tenant allegedly struck Miller in the face during the argument.
The witness told officers that after the tenant left, Miller, who police said was intoxicated, set the couch on fire and left.
Miller raised suspicions when he returned to the scene with a fire extinguisher, Peters said. He initially denied setting the fire but then admitted to it, telling police he did it as a “joke,” court records state.
No one was injured in the blaze, which caused major fire damage to the basement unit and moderate smoke damage to the other two units, displacing five people.