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Sentencing delayed for Sioux City man found guilty in fatal apartment fire

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) – A Sioux City man found guilty of starting a fatal 2018 apartment fire is seeing his sentencing delayed until next week.

Fifty-one-year-old Robert Mahoney was found guilty March 26 of first-degree arson and involuntary manslaughter in the death of 51-year-old Wanda Blake.

Mahoney was set to be sentenced Friday in Woodbury County District Court. His sentencing, along with post-trial motions and judgment will now be heard at 9 a.m. May 21.

On May 8 Mahoney’s attorney filed a motion for a new trial, claiming the evidence didn’t support the guilty verdict for first-degree arson, and the state did not present sufficient evidence “on the requisite element of casual relationship between the defendant’s act of starting a fire and Wanda Blake’s death.”

It was shortly before 2 a.m. on Feb. 4th, 2018, that authorities were called to the Central Apartments for a structure fire.

According to court documents, in a post-Miranda interview, Mahoney admitted he was lighting papers on fire in his apartment with an aerosol can of bug spray and a lighter because he was “bored.”

After the paper went out, he told police he “got mad” and sprayed a table with the bug spray before lighting it on fire.

Blake died more than three weeks later of injuries she suffered in the fire.

Blake Branch

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