SYRACUSE, N.Y. – A man who spent 15 years in prison for killing his roommate with an ax caused a fatal fire at a Syracuse boarding house earlier this month by placing a propane tank in an oven, authorities said.
Police said parolee Shaun Bowen, 48, was arrested Thursday and charged with second-degree murder and arson.
Bowen was an overnight guest at the boarding house and set it on fire on May 2 by placing a 20-pound propane tank in an oven, opening the valve and turning the oven on, police said. They said he started the fire after being repeatedly asked to leave.
The blaze killed Richard Fabrizio, a 49-year-old resident of the boarding house.
"This is an illogical act," Police Chief Frank Fowler said.
Authorities also charged Bowen with attempted arson in two other fires in Syracuse in 2013.
Bowen served prison time after he was convicted of second-degree murder in the 1992 killing of his roommate, Anton Nesper. Authorities said the 36-year-old Nesper was hit with an ax and stabbed during a fight over a bottle of vodka.
The state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said Bowen entered the prison system in May 1993 to serve a sentence of 15 years to life. He was released in early 2008 but was sent back to prison twice for parole violations. He was released for a third time in December.
He was being held Friday in the Onondaga County Justice Center. A message left with the attorney assigned to his case, Eric Jeschke, wasn't immediately returned.