Man faces arson charge

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SANDPOINT — A Bonner County man is charged with first-degree arson for allegedly attempting to burn down an occupied residence early Friday morning.

Michael Shaun Peterson faces additional misdemeanor charges of battery, injury to a child and malicious injury to property.

The alleged arson attempt came a day after a divorce certificate was issued, according to the Idaho Supreme Court Data Repository.

The home on Pinecrest Road west of town was partially damaged. Peterson’s former wife was not home when the fire took hold, although court documents indicate her son was in the home along with other adults and juveniles, a probable cause affidavit said.

One of the adults sleeping upstairs awoke to find an intoxicated Petetson warning him that a fire was going to be started. The man chalked to the comment up to Peterson’s inebriation and went back to sleep.

Peterson, the affidavit said, returned to the room and warned that the fire had been set. The home’s occupants evacuated the dwelling and used what they had on hand to splash water on it to bring it under control.

Peterson allegedly placed a two-year-old child in his pickup truck, backed into another man’s vehicle and struck a barbecue. Two adult’s managed to wrestle the child out of the truck, although a woman was struck by an open door of the moving truck during that altercation, according to court documents. The child’s name is obscured in court records, so it was not immediately clear what relationship the defendant had with the child.

Peterson allegedly sent his ex text messages, one of which read, “Burning this s**t down,” court records indicate. One of the adults at the home saw Peterson walking away from the burning home while smoking a cigarette, according to court documents.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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