MARYVILLE, Mo. — In a plea deal with prosecutors, the man who set fire to the Nodaway County Jail early this year will spend the next decade behind bars.
According to online court records, Ethen Mark Bentley, 29, of Stella, Nebraska, was sentenced to 10 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. The sentence comes as part of a deal both for the jail fire he admitted to setting in January, and the initial charges that had landed him there: two counts of first-degree assault, one count of second-degree domestic assault and one count of felony resisting arrest.
Those charges came after a witness reportedly saw Bentley assault a woman while the two were in a moving car. When police attempted to stop the vehicle, Bentley fled, resulting in a pursuit that ended with Bentley driving head-on into a Maryville Public Safety car, totaling both vehicles.
While in the Nodaway County Jail awaiting a court appearance on Jan. 14, Bentley set a fire in his cell. Jailers spotted the smoke and all 20 inmates in the facility were evacuated and temporarily relocated to facilities in Andrew and Buchanan counties for a little more than a month while the Nodaway County Jail was repaired.
As part of the sentence, Bentley must also pay restitution of $5,000 to the county.