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Iowa Serial Arsonist Gets 20 Years

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(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A serial arsonist who set fire to homes and buildings in northeastern Iowa has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

A federal judge Thursday also ordered 40-year-old Shawn Gant to pay $418,000 in restitution to victims of three fires he started.

Gant was convicted of setting fires to two rental homes in 2009, including one in Fayette where his ex-girlfriend and child lived. He was also convicted of setting fire to his Oelwein apartment in 2010, which spread because of wind and destroyed his building and the one next door. A firefighter suffered minor injuries fighting that blaze.

Gant was earlier convicted of arson in 2002, and prosecutors say he is linked to more than a dozen other fires in cars, apartments and homes dating back to the 1990s.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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