Ex-Husband Charged With Arson at Office of Ex-Wife's Lawyer

Police have charged a Columbia man with arson after investigators say he set fire to the office of his ex-wife's divorce lawyer.

Ronald Lynn Jenkins, 40, turned himself in Sunday afternoon, said Columbia police spokeswoman Sgt. Florence McCants. He is charged with second-degree arson, second-degree burglary and stalking, she said.

Jenkins made no statement and is not cooperating with police, McCants said. He asked for an attorney, but McCants said Sunday she didn't know who that was.

Attorney Robert Masella said he has been representing Jenkins' ex-wife for more than three years. Last week, Jenkins lost an appeal in his divorce case, Masella said.

"I think the reason he's so mad is that I wouldn't quit," Masella said.

Masella, 46, who uses a wheelchair, said Jenkins confronted him outside downtown Columbia office Friday morning and threatened to kill him. Masella called police but Jenkins left before officers arrived.

Jenkins is accused of breaking into the office later Friday night and setting a fire in the library. A fire report estimated total damage at $60,000.

If convicted of the three charges, Jenkins faces a maximum of 45 years in prison.