Sixty Day Sentence for Burning House

A Council Bluffs man who set his house on fire with his family inside is facing 60 days in jail for assault but he could have faced years.

In Pottawattamie County District Court on Monday, 21-year-old Jacob Rolfe admitted his role in the incident at the Delong Avenue home in November. He poured gasoline in the kitchen and set it ablaze.

Deputy County Attorney Jon Jacobmeier said, “We have a 21-year-old at home not working. Mom gets mad at him and he starts the place on fire."

When firefighters arrived they found a burning house and their lead suspect sitting on the curb while his mother and younger brother remained inside.

Jacobmeier said, "When they asked him why, he said he hated her.

"Hopefully he's learned a lesson. Thank God he didn't kill his family.”

Rolfe will spent 60 days in jail for assault rather than attempted murder. He could have received 10-years for arson. His mother didn't want any jail time for him but Rolfe is on notice. Part of the deal worked out requires him to get a job.

Jacobmeier said the judge told Rolfe, "You have to keep busy. For 40-hours a week he has to go to a job, go to school or to treatment. Hopefully he'll learn some responsibility - at age 21."

If Rolfe follows the judge's orders for two years, his record will be wiped clean.

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