The Westlake man who was sentenced to 8 years and 5 months in prison on Monday.
Mark L. Hudson, 35, pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated arson, inducing panic and cruelty to animals. Judge Nancy Margaret Russo presided over the trial at the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.
After conducting an investigation, Westlake safety officials said Hudson, boyfriend of the unit’s 55-year-old resident, left a lit cigarette in the pocket of one of her jackets. Hudson's girlfriend was not home at the time, but her dog Baby died in the fire.
Police said Hudson was upset with his girlfriend because she did not come home Monday night.
“We had interviewed him and other witnesses and gathered evidence, and it pointed to this,” said Westlake Police Cpt. Guy Turner.
Safety crews evacuated 90 people from the three-story condominium building, according to Westlake police. Although carbon monoxide levels were high, no one but the dog was injured.
Hudson was on probation at the time of the fire for burglary and assault for an incident in 2009 when he entered the same woman’s condo, pushed her down and dragged her around on the floor. His criminal history also includes receiving a stolen motor vehicle in 1995, carrying concealed weapons in 2009 and kidnapping, assault and disrupting public service last year.