St. Rose man convicted of arson, cocaine distribution gets 10 years

A St. Rose man accused of intentionally burning down his home was sentenced this month to 10 years in prison.

Morris Paul Jr., 44, of 364 Second St. in St. Rose, pleaded guilty on charges of simple arson and distribution of Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substances (cocaine).

He will receive credit for each of his days served from the date of his initial arrest. He was also given notice of a two-year prescriptive period for post-conviction relief. Paul was arrested and charged with aggravated arson after the house he was living in burned in June of 2015.

According to the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, witnesses at the time reported seeing Paul douse the house with gasoline before the home was soon engulfed in flames. Paul was living in the house without electricity, according to witnesses.

He also had been living there despite receiving several eviction notices due to the blighted condition of the structure and code enforcement complaints, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

A Sheriff’s Office investigation determined Paul owned the house in succession with siblings.

A joint investigation by the Fire Marshal and Sheriff’s Office indicated arson was the cause of the fire and a warrant was issued for Paul’s arrest.

The case came under the jurisdiction of Judge Timothy Marcel.

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