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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Charges reduced for man who started fire to oust son from house

  • Otoe County prosecutors reduced felony arson charges to misdemeanors against a Nebraska City man accused of setting his house on fire out of frustration over his son's activities there.

    Lawyers for Rex D. Peterson Sr., 54, said he did not approve of his 30-year-old son's use of the house on H Road as a hangout for what he perceived as illegal drug activities.
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  •   Otoe County prosecutors reduced felony arson charges to misdemeanors against a Nebraska City man accused of setting his house on fire out of frustration over his son's activities there.
      Lawyers for Rex D. Peterson Sr., 54, said he did not approve of his 30-year-old son's use of the house on H Road as a hangout for what he perceived as illegal drug activities.
      Prosecutors say Peterson poured gasoline at several locations around the house on Jan. 5 and set fire to a paper towel.
      “Mr. Peterson intentionally started the fire in an attempt to oust his son from the house,” said Otoe County Attorney David Partsch.
      The state dropped the charges of arson involving the house, which Peterson owns with his sister Dawn Peterson, and Peterson entered guilty pleas Monday to the destruction of personal property belonging to his son and sister.
      Peterson agreed to pay reasonable restitution to the Nebraska City Rural Fire Department and state Fire Marshal's Office for their response to the fire.
      Otoe County Attorney David Partsch said he had received a bill of $6,900 from the fire department, but Peterson's attorney John Voelker said a court hearing could be needed to determine the exact amount of restitution.
    Sentencing is scheduled Sept. 23.

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