- Associated Press - Thursday, September 11, 2014

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) - Investigators say last weekend’s fire at a Gillette motel was started by a Casper man angry with a woman after the two smoked methamphetamine together.

James Pearson, 58, was arrested Wednesday in Natrona County on suspicion of aggravated arson and attempted first degree murder. He is expected to appear in court Friday after being transferred to Campbell County, the Gillette News Record (http://bit.ly/YAZ3SL) reported.

According to court documents, Pearson and the woman smoked methamphetamine together and he wanted her to have sex with him in return. She refused and got away. Pearson later allegedly came to the room where she was staying at the Rodeway Inn on Sunday and told her friend “no one is going to walk away from this without being paid.”

Later the woman told investigators that she smelled fire and discovered thick smoke and “intense” fire in the hallway. Her boyfriend jumped out of the window, breaking several bones.

After the fire, evidence of petroleum products were found in several spots, according to the documents. The heaviest concentrations of the accelerant were found on the third floor and outside the woman’s room.

Pearson was also allegedly seen on the motel’s video cameras in several different locations in the building before the fire started, the documents said.

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Information from: The Gillette (Wyo.) News Record, http://www.gillettenewsrecord.com

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