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Associated Press, Published August 28 2013

Texas man guilty in ND motel arson case

STEELE, N.D. — A jury in North Dakota has found a Texas man guilty of burning down a motel in the town of Steele.

KXMB-TV reports that fifty-one-year-old Allen Thomas, of Houston, was found guilty Wednesday on one count of arson and 18 counts of endangering by fire. Authorities say Thomas used a cigarette lighter to ignite a mattress about a year ago because he was upset that the hotel owners had helped his girlfriend after the two had argued.

No one was hurt in the fire but it displaced about two dozen people and destroyed the business.

KXMB-TV says the prosecutor this week told jurors that Thomas set the fire out of anger, while the defense attorney said witness testimony will show that Thomas is innocent.

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Information from: KXMB-TV, http://www.kxnet.com

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