Officials: Ottumwa Man Competent to Stand Trial in Arson Case

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An Ottumwa man accused of setting fire to his mother’s house has been deemed competent to stand trial next month.

A pretrial conference has been scheduled for July 1 for 67-year-old George Dennison.

Dennison faces charges of first-degree arson, a Class B felony, and two counts of animal cruelty, a Class D felony.

Last November, Dennison allegedly set his mother’s house on fire while she slept. Emergency personnel were able to remove her from the house but two dogs in the home were confined in cages at the time of the fire and died.

Last year, Dennison pleaded guilty to shooting his then-wife with a crossbow in August 2022 while she was sleeping. He received two suspended five-year sentences that were to be served consecutively.

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