(West Central Tribune/St. Cloud, MN) — A Paynesville man accused of killing his daughter in a fire last year has pleaded not guilty.
Twenty-two-year-old Jamey Newport died July 23, 2019, in a fire at her home in Paynesville.
The West Central Tribune reports her father, 47-year-old John Sean Newport, is accused of using gasoline to start the fire while his daughter was inside the home.
Newport is charged with second-degree murder — unintentional while committing a felony. He is in the Stearns County Jail, held on $2 million bail.
Newport entered his plea late last week in Stearns County District Court. No new court date is listed in court records.
A court order has disallowed some statements Newport made after his arrest and allowed others. The two sides had agreed that some of the statements were not admissible.
The order also allows the prosecution to seek a longer sentence by offering evidence that shows that Newport’s alleged actions displayed particular cruelty, made it difficult for his daughter to escape and endangered the public.
According to court records, John Newport had been living with Jamey Newport in the mobile home, and she had been paying the bills. The afternoon of the fire, he allegedly asked his daughter to drive him to a hardware store, and when she refused, he began slamming things in the house and arguing with her.
When she said she was going to move out, he allegedly decided to set the mobile home on fire.