OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
JANUARY 8, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
STOCKTON MAN SENTENCED FOR ARSON
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Stockton, Mo., has been sentenced in federal court for his role in an arson fire.
Jacob Smith, 19, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010, to five years in federal prison without parole.
On Sept. 18, 2009, Smith and his mother and co-defendant Dina Larson, 39, of Stockton, each pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting one another to destroy the building at 600 West St., in Stockton, by means of fire and explosive materials. The property housed the Cigarette Shack, Pappi’s Pizza and Movieland as well as a vacant business.
On March 18, 2009, at approximately 4 a.m., Cedar County Deputy Sheriff Frank Brumfield, while fueling his vehicle, heard what he believed to be a heavy door slamming. Brumfield proceeded to the source of the sound and observed smoke emanating from the front of the vacant business.
After the fire was extinguished, State Fire Marshal Investigator Bruce Thorlo conducted a fire scene investigation. It was immediately apparent that the fire had been intentionally set, based upon the strong odor of a flammable liquid, the presence of multiple points of origin, pour patterns, and the discovery of three containers containing the remnants of a flammable liquid.
The investigators were able to trace the point of sale of one of the fuel containers to a Lowe’s home improvement store in Springfield, Mo. Lowe’s was able to provide the investigators with a video recording depicting Larson purchasing a can of kerosene on March 17, 2009. Lowe’s was able to produce the sales ticket documenting the sale of the can.
The investigators then proceeded to a nearby Wal-Mart store. Wal-Mart security personnel were able to locate video footage showing Larson purchasing two cans of Coleman fuel, brown jersey gloves, black shirts, black winter hats, nylons, shoes, and other items. Gloves of the same type purchased by Larson were recovered from the scene of the fire.
On March 19, 2009, Smith approached investigators and acknowledged that it was he and his mother who set the fire. Larson admitted that she was promised a “big fat bank account” in exchange for setting the fire.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Cedar County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the Missouri Division of Fire Safety.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at