Wilsonville resident Mark Jerry Charles Baughman recently pleaded guilty in Marion County Circuit Court to three counts of attempted murder, as well as one count each of arson and assault after he attempted to set his mother's residence and car ablaze last August in Salem.
Baughman was sentenced to 18 years in prison. The Salem Statesman Journal first reported this news.
Salem Police records indicate that Baughman tried to ignite an explosion at his mother's residence while multiple people, including a child, occupied the house on Aug. 20, 2020. His mother posited that Baughman knew there were people in the house when he tried to cause the explosion, as he was familiar with their schedules and saw cars parked in the driveway. Ring video surveillance videos helped police gather evidence.
"I believed based on the evidence provided during each reported incident, that Mark Baughman actually started a fire, damaging the grass and gas pipe, in an attempt to ignite the gas line connected to the residence, which would or could have resulted in a large explosion that would likely kill or cause serious physical injury to Mark, every person inside the residence and every person in close proximity to the residence," Officer Michael Vega wrote in a police report.
Baughman's mother also reported that her son had cut open a gas pipe at the home less than two weeks prior.
"On several occasions Mark Jerry Baughman attempted to set fire to his mother's residence and other property. He successfully started small fires attempting (to) cause larger more destructive fires," Vega wrote in the police report. "The fires damaged her truck, yard and a gas meter connected to the residence he had tampered with to release the gas in an attempt to cause an explosion or larger fire."
Further, Vega recounted Baughman trying to set fire to his mother's truck on Aug. 18, 2020.
"He was carrying a bundle of cardboard. He crawled under the truck. When he emerged, he left the area, no longer carrying the bundle of cardboard," Vega wrote. "A short time later the truck started to smoke from under the hood. Officer Bush found a blackened area on the concrete under the truck, along with a pile of ashes. Several areas on the underside of the vehicle were charred and blackened."
Baughman's mother reportedly had a restraining order against Baughman due to his increasingly aggressive behavior and drug use. According to the Statesman Journal, Baughman was also arrested in 2020 for attempting to set fire to a shed at Aibertos Taco Shop in Salem.
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