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New London man gets jail, probation for truck arson, ordered to pay $28K in restitution

WILLMAR — Paul Allen Baumann, 23, of New London, was sentenced Monday to 120 days in the county jail, 10 years of probation and a $50 fine on a second-degree arson charge for setting a semi-truck on fire in July at Hillcrest Truck Stop near New London.

Baumann was also or-dered to pay $28,042.99 in restitution and remain gainfully employed as part of his sentence handed down by District Judge Michael J. Thompson in Kandiyohi County District Court.

As part of a plea agreement reached earlier, Baumann received a stay of imposition on his sentence. Under the stay, his felony conviction will be reduced to a misdemeanor if he complies with the conditions of probation.

The charges were filed after the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to the fire around 11:20 p.m. July 16.

The responding firefighters moved two semi-trucks closest to the burning truck away from the fire and then extinguished the blaze. Investigators found a white antifreeze bottle containing a combustible fuel near the truck. The owner of the truck estimated the value at $40,000.

The owner reported to investigators the next day that Baumann had set the fire after the owner refused to lend him $300. Baumann admitted to taking a jug of gasoline, pouring it on the truck and then setting the fire with a cigarette lighter.

He said he had been drinking and was angry about the refusal to lend the money.

He also showed investigators burns, on his arms, which he said he suffered when he set the blaze.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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