Casper Man Gets 3-7 Years in Prison for Arson
A Casper man who poured gasoline on his estranged girlfriend's door will spend the next three-to-seven years behind bars.
Harley Jay Bushnell was sentenced in Natrona County District Court for the crime Thursday afternoon.
He previously pleaded guilty to a first degree arson charge related to a July 21, 2018 incident in district court in December last year.
According to court documents, Bushnell texted the victim, "Fine, your house is getting burned down right now."
Firefighters and police responded after the victim called 911. They discovered that the apartment's door was doused in gasoline. It was the only way out of the apartment.
When the incident occurred, there were two infants, two adults and a small child in the residence. Despite striking a lighter, Bushnell was unable to set the building on fire. No one was injured.
During Thursday's hearing, Natrona County District Attorney Dan Itzen argued for a sentence of 7-10 years in prison. Itzen said Bushnell has trouble accepting responsibility for his actions.
"He poured gas all over the outside of that apartment building," Itzen said. "That's the type of conduct that warrants a prison sentence."
Joseph Cole represented Bushnell as a public defender. Cole said a sentence where Bushnell could seek counselling services would be more appropriate than lengthy incarceration.
"It was a childish and stupid decision," Bushnell said. "I take responsibility for it. I can't run away from life for forever."