A Newport man is facing arson and attempted murder charges after Newport police say he stabbed another person and then set the home they shared with four other people on fire.
Jesse Lewis Cox, 26, of East Forest Drive in Newport, was charged Monday with first-degree arson, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill, five counts of attempted first-degree murder and animal cruelty.
Cox shared the home with his parents, Richard and Dawn Amen; his sister, Cheyenne Amen; her boyfriend Aaron Quinn; and Cheyenne Aman and Quinn’s 3-week old infant. Police say Cox set the home on fire following an altercation with one of the residents.
When Newport fire and police officials responded to the structure fire at the single-story home, they found one of the six had been stabbed several times. The person who was stabbed has not been named. The stabbing victim was transported to Carteret General Hospital for treatment, and the infant was also taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. Two dogs that were inside the home during the fire died.
Newport police officers Sgt. William Pollock and POII Ty Mann took Cox into custody at the home, which officers had been called to on at least seven occasions in the last 24 months for incidents involving domestic disturbances, threats, and drunk and disorderly conduct, according to a press release from the Newport Police Department.
Deputies with the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office also responded and provided assistance, as did fire crews from Newport, Wildwood, Morehead City, Cherry Point, Havelock, and Broad and Gales Creek EMS.
Assisting with the investigation are Ben Barnett, Carteret County fire marshal and Eddie Lewis, an investigator with the Fire Marshal’s Office.
Cox’s bond was set at $800,000.