Centralia serial arsonist pleads guilty to attempted murder

June 12, 2014 

— –The serial arsonist arrested in March for setting fire to his mother’s Centralia house pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder Tuesday morning.

After his arrest for the March fire to his mother’s house, located on the 3400 block of Prill Road in Centralia, Jonathan P. Brown told police he started the fire with the intention of burning it down. He also said he knew it was a possibility that his 58-year-old mother and his 87-year-old grandfather, who were sleeping at the time, could die in the fire, court documents state.

He later told police he had recent thoughts about killing someone, according to the documents.

Brown faces between 19 and 32 years in prison, said Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead. His sentencing date has not been set.

The 26-year-old Centralia man allegedly started fires on a chair and two pillows inside his bedroom at about 6 a.m. on March 23.

Brown’s mother awoke to the sound of a smoke detector going off and was able to extinguish the fire, but sustained minor burns to her hands. Brown fled the house after setting the fire and was arrested a short distance away.

Brown told police he doused two pillows and a chair with lamp oil, lit it on fire, then purposely opened his bedroom window to allow the fire to “breathe” and to prevent the smoke detector from activating

While it is unclear why Brown set fire to his own home, he told police that he was upset with his mother about “personal issues,” court documents state.

This will not be the first time Brown goes to prison for arson.

In 2009, he pleaded guilty to first- and second-degree arson, and first- and second-degree reckless burning. He had confessed to the five fires in 2009. He was sentenced to four and half years in prison, and as a part of the plea agreement, Brown was ordered to receive treatment for pyromania.

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©2014 The Chronicle (Centralia, Wash.)

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AMX-2014-06-11T23:59:00-04:00

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