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Superior man faces prison for arson

Superior Telegram

A Superior man will spend six years in prison for setting fire to a Superior residence with a Molotov cocktail on Good Friday.

Michael Garner Thompson, 27, pleaded guilty in Douglas County Circuit Court in October to arson. Last week, he was sentenced to six years in prison followed by eight years of extended supervision. He was ordered to undergo a chemical dependency and domestic violence evaluation, maintain absolute sobriety, provide a DNA sample and have no contact with the victim or his family or residence.

Additional charges of possession of a Molotov cocktail and bail jumping were dismissed.

According to the criminal complaint:

Thompson and 29-year-old Amy Marie Pionk, set fire to the home so Pionk, whose ex-husband lived there, could get full custody of her children. When questioned by Superior Police Detective William Braman, Pionk said they planned to set the fire days before.

They made Molotov cocktails with gasoline and empty beer bottles taken from a bar garbage can, according to Thompson. They broke a basement window and Thompson threw three of the cocktails through it, lit a fourth one on fire and threw it inside. Then they fled the scene. Both told Braman their intent was to burn down the house.

The fire at 1311 N. 23rd St. caused $20,000 damage, according to information from the Superior Fire Department. Firefighters rescued a four-month old Beagle pup named Rush from the home. Although the animal spent Easter weekend at a veterinarian’s office, he showed no ill effects from the fire.

Pionk faces felony charges of arson and possession of a Molotov cocktail, both as a party to a crime, and one count misdemeanor bail jumping. She is scheduled to go to trial on Jan. 30.