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Man now facing attempted murder charges after Austin house fire

A man arrested last week for first-degree arson is now facing attempted murder charges.

Posted: Aug 19, 2019 5:06 PM
Updated: Aug 19, 2019 5:08 PM

AUSTIN, Minn. - A man arrested last week for first-degree arson is now facing attempted murder charges.

James Slavan, 62, is accused of trying to kill two people who were inside 1201 3rd Ave. NW on Aug. 14 when a fire was started in the residence.

A victim told authorities that Slavan, a landlord at the property, was harassing the victims and began telling the victim to let him in.

After not allowing Slavan in, the victim said they saw drops dripping at the bottom of the door and moments later the flames began.

The victim told law enforcement that a week earlier, Slavan was drunk and stated that “he was going to burn the house down around him,” court documents show.

Detectives observed a gas can tilted on its side and a lighter nearby in the residence.

“Officers canvassing the area were told the defendant was seen walking away from the area with his cane,” the criminal complaint states.

Slavan is facing two counts of attempted murder, two counts of attempted murder with intent while committing a felony and one count of first-degree arson.

One of the individuals inside was able to get out on their own while police had to rescue another person from the roof with a ladder.

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