A seven-year prison term awaited Austin Garcia of Creve Coeur when he pleaded guilty Monday to setting his residence on fire with his fiancée and her mother inside.
Garcia, 29, pleaded guilty to residential arson, punishable by up to 15 years, after the charge was reduced from Class X aggravated arson of a home with people inside.
No one was injured in the March 12 incident that left the small house at 141 Oaklawn Circle in Creve Coeur with minor damage to its exterior. Firefighters doused flames that Garcia ignited with gasoline before they spread far into the home’s siding.
Garcia apparently was upset over the miscarriage his fiancée had recently suffered and had been drinking, according to a prosecutor’s court affidavit.
Her mother noticed smoke entering the home, which she owns, and walked outside to find Garcia trying to light a corner of the structure on fire, the affidavit stated. She called 911, firefighters arrived and police found Garcia inside the residence.
“All I did was start a fire,” Garcia told one of the officers. He said he had started a fire in the backyard but denied trying to burn the residence, the affidavit stated.
He will serve half of his sentence with good behavior and was given credit for the time he’s spent in custody since his arrest.