MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for the death of his daughter, who died when he set fire to a Paynesville mobile home.
John Sean Newport, 48, of Paynesville, pleaded guilty to one felony count of second-degree murder for the death of Jayme Newport. On Friday, he was sentenced to what was an upward departure from sentencing guidelines, due to the case’s “particular cruelty,” and that the victim was “particularly vulnerable.”
According to the criminal complaint, a 22-year-old woman, later identified as the man’s daughter Jayme Newport, called police Tuesday evening and said someone was dumping gasoline in the home. She began screaming, yelling for help and saying she couldn’t get out of the trailer. Dispatch then lost communication with her.
Officers responded to the arson call shortly before 7 p.m. at a trailer in the 400 block of Minnie Street. When police arrived, the trailer was fully engulfed and they learned the woman was still inside. An officer repeatedly tried to knock down flames with a fire extinguisher, but the heat and smoke became overwhelming.
Police say John Newport had broken a window and was yelling at his daughter inside. Officers restrained him as he tried to enter the home. He was covered in soot and had blood on his arms and hands.
Firefighters arrived and began extinguishing the fire. Crews found the woman in the trailer’s bathroom. She was transported to the hospital, where she died of “inhalation of products of combustion.” Her manner of death is listed as homicide.
Investigators found a gas can inside the home and lighter on the ground outside. Officials say evidence indicates John Newport had been in an argument with his daughter around the time of the fire. Officers found a Facebook post in which he expressed intent to burn down the trailer.
Four of five cats that lived in the mobile home also died in the blaze.