The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 15, 2012

Judge sends man from Carthage to state prison

A rural Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday and was sent to prison for four years for setting a fire that destroyed the trailer home of his ex-girlfriend.

Patrick F. Paul, 52, changed his plea to guilty in Jasper County Circuit Court in Joplin on a charge of second-degree arson.

Paul changed his plea in a deal with the Jasper County prosecutor’s office that limited the prison time he might be assessed to four years and called for him to waive his right to a sentencing-assessment report. Circuit Judge David Dally accepted the plea agreement and assessed Paul the prison term.

Court documents state that a fire July 4 destroyed a trailer home on India Drive owned by Maxine VanWey. VanWey called the Carthage Fire Department the next day to report that her ex-boyfriend had called her and sent text messages before and after the fire stating that he was going to burn the trailer and that he had set the fire.

A probable-cause affidavit states that Paul later admitted under questioning that he was mad at VanWey, got intoxicated, and set the bed and couch in the trailer on fire.