Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 22, 2014

Jonathan Beam pleads guilty to arson

Sentencing for second-degree arson charge will be March 13
By Xiomara Levsen | Jan 24, 2014
Jonathan Leo Beam

A Washington resident has pleaded guilty to arson.
Jonathan Leo Beam, 53, of Washington, made a guilty plea to arson in the second degree, a Class C felony, which is punishable up to 10 years in jail, on Jan. 17, his court record said. Beam’s sentencing will be held on March 13, at 9:30 a.m., at the Washington County Courthouse, the court record said.
A pre-sentence investigation will be completed by the 8th Judicial District Department of Correctional Services and will be filed with the clerk of district court at least three days prior to the sentencing, Beam’s court record said.
Washington County Attorney Larry Brock will submit a statement of pecuniary damages for the victims and the clerk of court will prepare a statement of costs, which will be filed before or on the day of sentencing, Beam’s court record said.
The guilty plea stems from a fire at 2180 Lexington Blvd. in Washington on Oct. 1, 2013, which was listed as Beam’s residence, his court record said.
A call came into the Washington Communications Center about a large house fire across from the Washington County Sheriff’s office. Fire departments from Washington, Kalona, Ainsworth, and Brighton all responded to the scene, as well as the Washington Police Department and the Washington County Sheriff’s office. It was determined no one was inside the residence at the time of the fire and there were no injuries reported.
According to court records, on Oct. 1, at 5 p.m. a search warrant was executed at the same residence. After the fire was put out, burn patterns consistent with accelerants poured on the floors of the hallways were found. Also, outside the west kitchen door two 15-minute flare packages were located on the ground, court records said. There were supposed to be three flares in each package, but the flares weren’t found, the court records said.
After the fire, Beam was located in Hebron, Neb. Another search warrant was served to him and for his vehicle, according to his court record. Beam’s clothes and shoes were recovered, which smelled strongly of gasoline. In the vehicle five road flares were found and matched the packaging at the scene of the fire. Receipts in the car showed Beam had purchased gas, flares, and a torch the morning of the fire.


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