Man Found Guilty of Setting House on Fire


A jury has found Spencer Norton, the man accused of setting a south Bismarck home on fire, guilty. 

Earlier this morning, the Bismarck Police detective on the case took the stand as the final state’s witness.

He went through his entire investigation, showed neighbor security camera footage of when Norton and his girlfriend Yvette Howell left the house, just minutes prior to it being engulfed in flames. 

Throughout the trial, both Howell and Norton mentioned a trash bag with cigarette butts being thrown in the corner where the fire started. 

However, the Detective claims that’s a change in the story.

“That was never, ever mentioned to me in those two interviews in the morning, and then for the afternoon interview when I spoke with Mrs. Howell which was approximately 2 hours. At no time did she ever mention emptying an ashtray,” says Bismarck Police Detective Jon Lahr. 

After the state rested their case, it was the defense team’s turn.

And Spencer Norton himself took the stand. 

He went through the events of that morning, and said he knows the fire wasn’t accidental, mentioning Yvettes daughter, Ashley.

“I told them it was arson the morning as soon as I got back to the house,” says Spencer Norton.
“You thought it was arson?”
Norton: “I damn sure did.”
“It was Ashley Howell, right?”
Norton: “I never said it was Ashley Howell, I said it was one of her scumbag boyfriends.”

The jury deliberated for a little over two hours. 

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