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Guilty plea in Garner arson

Dontau Smith
Dontau Smith

Man accused of starting fire after argument with woman.

Posted: Feb 20, 2019 7:27 PM

GARNER, Iowa – An accused arsonist is pleading guilty in Hancock County.

Dontau Tahrel Smith, 43 of Garner, has entered a guilty plea to threat of arson and reckless use of fire or explosives. He was arrested in April 2108 after law enforcement was called to Smith’s home by a woman who says Smith talked about “burning them while they sleep” after they had an argument.

The woman says she was upstairs in the home when she smelled smoke and saw Smith starting a small fire at the bottom of the stairs.  The woman put out the flames with some shoes.

Law enforcement says Smith was found hiding in the basement under some clothes.

A sentencing date is now set for March 29.

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