Court Hearing Held for Paynesville Man Accused of Murder

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(KWLM/St. Cloud, MN) — A court hearing for a Paynesville man accused in a deadly mobile home fire took place yesterday morning (Thursday) in Stearns County District Court.

47-year-old John Newport is charged with second-degree murder for starting his daughter’s trailer on fire last July and killing Jamey Newport.

Prosecutors say Newport poured gas on the trailer and on Jamey’s pet kitten before setting them on fire, trapping Jamey inside.

In court Thursday, Newport questioned the admissibilty of statements he made shortly after his arrest as evidence in the case. And he also argued against aggravating factors in the case that could lead to a stiffer sentence if he is convicted.

The prosecution earlier had filed a motion asking for the declaration of aggravating factors due to what they said was the cruelty of Newport’s actions on the day of the fire. Both attorneys will present their arguments in briefs and submit them to the judge who will likely rule sometime in March or April.

In the meantime Newport remains jailed under terms of original bail.

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