Prosecutors have charged a Salt Lake City man with allegedly setting his home on fire to kill his wife.
Daniel B. Ivins, 33, was charged Wednesday in 3rd District Court with attempted murder and aggravated arson, both first-degree felonies. He was also charged with a misdemeanor count of assault.
Ivins’ wife, Sonnie Ivins, told investigators the couple was arguing on May 8 and that he slapped her cheek and punched her in the mouth. She retreated to a back room of their home at 377 N. 800 West, which is split into ground-level and upstairs apartments, and went upstairs to where her mother, LaRue Morrison, lived with Anthony Flannery.
Right after Sonnie Ivins entered the upstairs apartment, Morrison heard Daniel Ivins yell, “I hope you die in hell,” according to the charges.
Two minutes later, Flannery smelled smoke. All four people escaped as a fire spread through the house, which was heavily damaged.
Salt Lake City firefighters responded to the home. After the fire was out, Sonnie Ivins told firefighters that Daniel Ivins had assaulted her, and he was later arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.
Salt Lake City Fire spokesman Jasen Asay said last week that investigators would question Daniel Ivins about whether he played a role in the blaze. After a thorough probe, a fire investigator concluded that Daniel Ivins had set the fire by applying an open flame to the love seat in the front room of the home.
If convicted of the felony charges, he could face up to life in prison. The assault charge carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail.