Ex-Chandler firefighter sentenced to prison for setting ex-girlfriend’s house on fire
CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- An ex-Chandler firefighter learned his punishment for setting his ex-girlfriend’s home on fire over two years ago. On Friday, Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell announced that 43-year-old Eric Donald Jones will serve 10.5 years in prison for the crime.
In the early morning of April 18, 2021, investigators say Jones poured gasoline outside his ex’s house in Gilbert, near Cooper and Warner roads, while her 15-year-old son was alone inside. Jones then sparked the fire using a Molotov cocktail. The teen boy got out safely and recognized Jones’ pickup truck driving off with no headlights. The home had extensive damage inside and in the garage.
Just hours before the fire, Jones was at a bar in downtown Chandler, where he encountered his ex-girlfriend and a second ex-girlfriend. The two women were having drinks together when they found out Jones was dating both of them simultaneously, investigators said. The victim told police Jones “reacted violently” when he discovered the two contacted each other. That night, court paperwork states Jones saw the two of them at the bar for the first time and got into a fight with one ex-girlfriend. He allegedly pushed her before leaving the bar and went to her house. He was arrested shortly after the arson incident.
In an interview with police, Jones claimed his pickup truck didn’t run and “wasn’t sure if it had a battery in it,” court documents state. When questioned about the bar fight, he asked for a lawyer.
“This defendant was a public servant who was trusted by the community to protect residents from the very same damage he inflicted that night,” Mitchell said in a statement. “Not only did he put those inside the home in grave danger, but fellow firefighters who responded were intentionally placed at risk. I’m proud of the team in my office that brought this defendant to justice.”
Jones was found guilty on five counts, including arson of an occupied structure, endangerment, misconduct involving weapons, criminal damage and assault.
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