Man accused of starting fire after argument with wife

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – A man was arrested Monday after deputies said he lit curtains on fire in his Spokane Valley home.

Richard Batson has been charged with first degree arson and interfering with a domestic violence report.

Batson’s wife told officials he was “ranting and raving” next to the bedroom window while she laid in the bed trying to ignore him. She said he set the curtains on fire, looked at her and said, “I’m just gonna let it burn, should I?”

Court documents said Batson had taken his wife’s phone earlier in the argument. She told deputies he took it because he knows she will call the police if he won’t let her leave when she wants to. His wife said she ran out of the room and screamed for one of her daughters to call the police because of the fire.

When deputies arrived on scene, and saw a window curtain with the corner edge burned and charred. Batson was then placed in handcuffs. He told deputies he “accidentally” set the bedroom curtain on fire with a cigarette. He claimed his wife’s phone had been missing for days and he had spent the entire day searching the house for it. 



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