clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

ESTRANGED HUSBAND DENIES STARTING FIRE

Blaine Wright pleaded not guilty Tuesday in 2nd District Court to starting a fire April 23 that burned out his estranged wife's home in Bountiful, destroying his family's personal effects and killing their three dogs.

Wright, 43, tried to kill himself after the fire was set, according to Bountiful police.Wright pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a first-degree felony charge of aggravated arson and burglary, a second-degree felony.

He also pleaded not guilty to a third-degree felony charge of damaging a jail. Wright damaged a sprinkler head in the jail the day he was booked, according to prosecutors.

Judge Jon Memmott set a May 28 pretrial hearing date but did not set a trial date.

According to court records, Wright telephoned his estranged wife at work a few minutes before the fire to discuss their domestic problems. Wright had moved out of the house and was living in a Layton apartment, according to police.

When it became apparent that his wife, Gail - who earlier filed for divorce - did not want to reconcile, police said Wright set the fire and attempted to kill himself inside the house.

That attempt failed, according to police, so Wright grabbed a pair of jumper cables from his car, ran to a tree in the yard and tried to hang himself.

None of the family's four children were home when the fire erupted, according to police. The fire destroyed the rented home and the family's belongings, with the loss estimated at $250,000.