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Mason City man sentenced to prison on Rudd arson, assault charges

By Bob Steenson, [email protected]

A Mason City man who pleaded guilty to severely beating his girlfriend and setting fire to their home in Rudd in January has been sentenced to serve up to 10 years in prison.

Tyrone Earl Jones, age 34, was sentenced in Floyd County District Court on Monday after earlier pleading guilty to second-degree arson, a Class C felony; and domestic abuse assault impeding air or blood flow causing bodily injury, a Class D felony.

Mason City man sentenced to prison on Rudd arson, assault charges
Tyrone Jones

As part of a plea agreement with the Floyd County Attorney’s Office, the arson charge was reduced from first-degree arson, a Class B felony, to second-degree arson, and two other charges were dismissed: third-degree theft, an aggravated misdemeanor; and false imprisonment, a serious misdemeanor.

District Court Judge DeDra Schroeder sentenced Jones to serve up to 10 years in prison on the arson charge and up to five years in prison on the assault charge, with the two prison sentences to be served concurrently (at the same time).

She also sentenced him to a $1,370 fine plus 15% surcharge on the arson charge and a $1,025 fine plus 15% surcharge on the assault charge, with both fines suspended.

She also ordered Jones to pay the victim in the case $54,620 in damages caused to her house and belongings because of the fire.

Schroeder ordered Jones to obtain a substance abuse evaluation and follow any suggested treatment, to participate in the Iowa Domestic Abuse Program while in prison and issued a no contact order with the victim for five years.

Persons sentenced to prison in Iowa typically serve about 45% of the maximum term of their sentence before being released, unless there are mandatory minimum sentences associated with their crimes, according to a 2020 study.

In documents filed in Floyd County District Court, Jones was accused of assaulting his girlfriend, who he lived with, by kicking her in the face, back and side of the head, and starting a fire in the upstairs of a home in Rudd on Jan. 8.

“The defendant grabbed the victim’s neck, strangling her to the point she lost consciousness. The victim reported a bloodshot eye, lumps on the back of her head and pain with several bruises. The victim was afraid for safety. The defendant also burnt her with a cigarette. The defendant started the victim’s house on fire and left the scene before law enforcement arrived,” court documents say.

Jones was also accused of taking his girlfriend’s cellphones and not allowing her to contact others.

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