WA man gets 17 years for setting house ablaze

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VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) -- A 24-year-old Vancouver, Wash., man has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for trying to kill his ex-girlfriend by setting her house on fire in September 2010.

Superior Court Judge Rich Melnick noted Thursday that David Michael Miller had sent threatening text messages to Jessica Whalen before barging in and pouring gasoline throughout the house and on his girlfriend and her family members.

The Columbian reports (http://is.gd/x5q2ES ) that Miller earlier pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted murder, first-degree arson, second-degree assault and harassment.

Deputy Prosecutor Jeff Holmes said while Whalen and her relatives escaped without injury before the house caught fire, they continue to suffer emotional scars. He estimated damage at more than $260,000.

Defense lawyer Jeffrey Barrar says Miller stayed in the house until the pain of his burns drove him out. He was found severely burned nearby.

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Information from: The Columbian, http://www.columbian.com