Charges: Man killed daughter by setting fire to Paynesville mobile home after argument

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A Paynesville man was charged with murder Thursday after police say he intentionally set fire to his mobile home with his daughter inside, killing her.

The charges say John Sean Newport, 46, had been in an argument with his adult daughter around the time of the fire that killed her. Police also located a Facebook post that announced his intent to burn down the mobile home.

Police and fire crews responded to the fire at 420 Minnie Street just before 7 p.m. Tuesday night after Newport’s daughter called police to tell them someone was dumping gasoline in the home.

When officers arrived, they hear her screaming and yelling for help, saying she couldn’t get out of the engulfed home.

The officer tried to gain access to the home, which was filled with smoke. He then noticed Newport in front of the home and restrained him.

Firefighters arrived and worked to extinguish the fire. They located the victim and started treatment. She was then rushed to St. Cloud Hospital where she later died.

An autopsy showed she died of “inhalation of products of combustion,” and her manner of death was listed as a homicide.

The State Fire Marshal’s office found evidence of “accelerant” in the home, a gas can and a lighter at the scene.

Newport was taken to the hospital to treat his injuries before he was taken to Stearns County Jail.

Thursday, a judge set his bail at $2 million without conditions, or $1 million with conditions. He is due in court Aug. 5.