Court docs: Putnam County man set fire to home of estranged wife

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Adam Lawless

UPDATE: Adam Lawless was sentenced in December 2016 to 10 years: 7 years in the Department of Correction, 2 years in community corrections and 1 year suspended.

BAINBRIDGE, Ind. – A Putnam County man set fire to his estranged wife’s home and now faces arson charges, investigators say.

Adam Lawless, 32, Bainbridge, faces two counts of arson in connection with the fire on June 19, 2016. According to court documents, the home at 117 E. Summit St. caught fire in the early morning hours. Lawless’ wife, Kylie Lawless, rented the home. The two were in the process of getting a divorce.

The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office investigated the case at the request of the Bainbridge Volunteer Fire Department. Investigators suspected that someone intentionally set the fire and zeroed in on Lawless as a suspect.

He originally denied setting fire to the home.

In a July 1 interview, Lawless admitted he’d set the fire, telling investigators he started it by lighting a piece of paper with his cigarette lighter and putting it in a charcoal grill on the porch. He then said the grill “then fell over and caught the deck on fire.”

Lawless told investigators he was trying to get his estranged wife’s attention and “was not trying to hurt or kill” her. Kylie Lawless, who was inside the home asleep, didn’t respond after he knocked on her door several times, Lawless said.

During the initial investigation, Kylie Lawless told investigators that her husband threatened to kill her when she told him she wanted a divorce. She’d asked her father to stay with her because she didn’t feel safe living alone.

She said she was sleeping during the fire and woke up because the house got too warm and she saw smoke. She then saw the deck on fire.

She also said her husband showed up at the home before the fire department got there and “yelled at her and was upset” because their dogs had died in the fire.