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Last updated on Thursday, October 3, 2013
(BEDFORD) - Cody Brooks of Orleans, who pleaded guilty to two charges of arson, was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Brooks was arrested for setting fire to his ex-girlfriend's apartment in Mitchell last year.
Lawrence County Superior Court I Judge Michael Robbins sentenced Brooks to ten years for each count. Brooks was also ordered to $5,000 in restitution to the duplex owner John Gass.
An additional charge of criminal recklessness was dismissed.
Brooks, who was living in Orleans at the time of the incident, entered his ex-girlfriend's apartment in the 100 block of Dale Street in Mitchell on Oct. 4, 2012, poured gasoline on her couch and floor and then lit the duplex on fire. The flames destroyed the rental unit and displaced the two families living there.
He was arrested two days later by Bedford Police Department at the Mark III Motel on warrants for two counts of arson and criminal recklessness.
According to police Brooks and several other people armed with baseball bats were fighting on Main Street before the blaze started. When Mitchell Police Officer Cain Gilstrap arrived, Dakota Reynolds told police his mother's ex-boyfriend, Brooks, who was driving a black Sonoma, tried to run Dakota over with the truck and then tried to flee the scene.
Gilstrap says that he was on his way to the Clark station on Ind. 37. Gilstrap drove there, but couldn't find Brooks. While there, police were notified about a house fire in the 100 block of Dale Street. When firefighters from Mitchell Volunteer Fire Department arrived the duplex was engulfed in flames.
While at the scene, police talked to Devin Reynolds, Sheila Reynolds' ex-husband. He told officers that Brooks entered the duplex, ordered Reynolds off the couch and began pouring gasoline on the floor and couch and ignited it.
Devin Reynolds fled the apartment and that's when Brooks got in the truck, drove through the yard and hit Reynolds with the vehicle. Reynolds suffered bruises and abrasions and was treated and released at a local hospital.
Officers also spoke with Danielle Malin, who occupied the apartment at 121 Dale St. She was in the dwelling with her two children, ages 2 months and 1 year, when she heard a guy swearing and banging on the door to the neighboring apartment and yelling to open the door or he was going to burn the house down. She told police she heard a man, who police say was Brooks, leave in his truck. That is when she smelled the odor of gasoline, grabbed her two children and fled from her home.
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