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Charges filed in domestic/arson

An area man was charged with several felonies after police say he was involved in a domestic disturbance, which led to him burning down his girlfriend’s house.

Jonathan Yarbrough, 19, of Cadet, is being charged with a class B felony of arson in the first degree and three class B felonies of assault in the first degree.

According to a probable cause statement, at 5:05 a.m. Monday, deputies were called to the 10,000 block of West Briar Rd. for a disturbance. At that time the deputy had Yarbrough leave the home because he was arguing with his girlfriend and her friend. He told the deputy that the girls were hiding something so he kicked open the bedroom door.

At 5:32 a.m. the deputy left the area after he was sure Yarbrough had left. At 5:34 a.m. Yarbrough called his girlfriend’s friend and told her he was going to kill all of them. The deputy watched surveillance video and at 5:37 a.m. an employee in a white truck pulled into a nearby business.

The surveillance video showed Yarbrough get up from a bench and start walking toward the direction of the trailer where his girlfriend lived. It wasn’t until 6:21 a.m. that the first call came in to Central Dispatch for the fire and the reporting party said she could see the fire from Route E and Highway 21 where she was at.

The report said that at 6:22 a.m. the friend of Yarbrough’s girlfriend called to report the fire. The deputy watched more surveillance video and saw Yarbrough at Short Stop Gas Station at 6:28 a.m. The deputy said Yarbrough seemed to be gasping for air and was out of breath.

Yarbrough asked for a phone to call 911 to report a fire. The deputy said he retrieved all 911 calls during this time from the Washington County Central Dispatch and none of them showed any calls from Yarbrough.

When the deputy spoke with the employee at the nearby business he said a guy from Lowe’s was dropping off an order and came inside to tell him a trailer was on fire. That employee and another one rushed out the door and ran to the fire to help start getting people evacuated. The employee said everyone was yelling and a man wearing red flannel was outside.

Yarbrough’s girlfriend said the house was on fire and she saw Yarbrough five minutes later when he ran up screaming, “are you OK?” He was told to leave.

Another person filled out a statement and said he woke up to go to the bathroom and heard some noises outside. When he looked out the window he saw the yard glowing orange, so he opened up the door and yelled they had to get out of the house. He also said he saw Yarbrough come out from between two trailers and run up to his girlfriend giving her a hug saying he didn’t do it. Yarbrough then ran off.

In an earlier interview, Potosi Fire Chief Roger Lachance said the wind was blowing pretty badly and it caught the trailer next to it on fire.  Lachance added that both homes were a total loss. The fire was under investigation by local authorities and the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Yarbrough is being held in the Washington County Jail on a $100,000 bond and is to have no contact with the victims upon his release.



Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or

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