Texas Man Gets 46 Years for Steele Arson - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Texas Man Gets 46 Years for Steele Arson

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Allen Thomas Allen Thomas
Lone Steer Motel fire August 2012 Lone Steer Motel fire August 2012
Bismarck, ND -

The man accused of setting the Lone Steer Motel on fire in Steele maintains his innocence on the day of his sentencing.

Despite claims of being wrongly convicted, Allen Thomas gets a firm sentence of 46 years.

"I will not apologize for something I did not do," says Allen Thomas.

On his sentencing day, Thomas still maintains he did not set the Lone Steer Motel on fire.

"They never did show any evidence at the trial. It was all based on he or she said or who said this or who said that," says Thomas.

A jury convicted Thomas on one count of arson and 18 counts of endangering by fire.

Thomas set a mattress outside is motel room on fire, destroying the building.

No one was hurt, but it displaced about two dozen people.

Thomas he didn't get a fair trial in Steele.

Despite Thomas' statements and even pleas from his mother to have mercy, Judge Cynthia Feland showed no sympathy for Thomas.

"While you have the right to maintain your innocence, you are not taking responsibility for what happened in this case," says Feland.

The defense says the fire was one act, arguing it's wrong to sentence Thomas for 19 crimes.

Feland says, "that one fire had a profound impact and forever changed the lives of a number of people."

Feland's 46 year sentence is much higher than the recommended 18 years.

In this case, Thomas' repayment to those that called the Motel home will be in time spent behind bars...

Feland says, "Those 19 people lost everything, their entire lives destroyed, by one act on your part."

The owners say they are out $1.8 million because of the fire.

However, Judge Cynthia Feland did not order restitution to be paid in the case because of the lengthy sentence and the unlikelihood Thomas would be able repay the victims.

Thomas has 30 days to file for an appeal.

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