ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- A St. Cloud man charged with trying to burn down his apartment unit last January has pleaded guilty to arson.

Thirty-six-year-old Reiss Atterbury was sentenced to three years in prison. He gets credit for already serving 140 days in the county jail.

Atterbury admitted to starting the fire at 4055 12th Street North in St. Cloud. He originally claimed he was doing laundry on the second floor when the fire broke out. However, surveillance video shows Atterbury standing in the doorway acting unconcerned as smoke billowed out of the apartment unit.

Fire crews told police that there was a large amount of burned debris throughout the apartment unit and the Assistant Fire Marshal was called in to investigate.

Court records show the oven door was open with a large amount of burned debris both inside and out front of the oven and the oven was in the on position. The investigator also noticed a partially melted gas can near the stove and a cigarette lighter nearby. In the living room, there were allegedly three more areas where a fire had been started. Two of the fire locations were piles of debris on the floor and one was on the apartment's wall. The smoke alarm had been removed and was found on the floor.

Court records allege Atterbury told police that he is bipolar and suffers from delusions but a mental competency exam determined he was competent to face the charge.




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