SAGINAW, Mich. — A man who authorities say set a fire in Michigan that killed his mother and sister has been charged in the deaths.

The Saginaw News reports 38-year-old Jason Enrico Desmone was arraigned Thursday on charges including first-degree murder. He’s accused in the Feb. 12 fire in Saginaw that killed 71-year-old Adair Smithpeters and 41-year-old Melissa Shook.

Michigan State Police Lt. David Kaiser says: “If you intentionally set a house on fire when people are sleeping in it, there’s a real good likelihood they’re going to perish in the fire.”

Desmone, who escaped the fire, was ordered held without bond. Court records didn’t list a lawyer for him in the case.

Saginaw is located about 85 miles (137 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. The home had been condemned shortly before the fire.

Information from: The Saginaw News,

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.