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Sun, Aug. 18

12 years in prison for man involved in Cottonwood fire-bombing case

Joshua Dawson

Joshua Dawson

CAMP VERDE -- A man involved in several 2013 fire-bomb arsons in Cottonwood was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Joshua Dawson, 26, and two other suspects were accused of setting fire to three different businesses in Cottonwood, including the City of Cottonwood Human Resource and Finance building at 816 N. Main Street April 1, 2013, according to Cottonwood Police Sgt. Monica Kuhlt.

Kuhlt said the building had $380,000 worth of damage. Dawson’s motive was not clear, according to Kuhlt, “except for his disdain for the government.”

The 2013 case was cold until last September when a joint investigation between the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office and Cottonwood police revealed new information.

“(In 2017), Cottonwood detectives were contacted by detectives from Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with new information,” Kuhlt said “YCSO had an arson during that same time period in 2013 and the suspects appeared to be involved. Last year, YCSO charged three suspects for their arson investigation.”

On Feb. 25, Dawson pleaded guilty to the three arson charges. He received five years for the arson of Sun West Bank and seven years for arson of two occupied structures, Spirit Gas Station and the City of Cottonwood building. Both sentences will run consecutive, making his total sentence 12 years.

Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Michael Bluff also ordered Dawson to pay $1,000 to the City of Cottonwood and $387,036 to the Arizona Municipal Risk Retention Pool.

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