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Mason City woman serving prison term for arson to have sentence reconsidered

Front door still in front yard after fire
Front door still in front yard after fire at apartment

MASON CITY – A North Iowa woman sentenced last year to spend up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to intentionally setting a fire at an apartment house near downtown Mason City is back in the county jail with a shot at a new sentence.

Jacque Sue Paulsen, age 33 and formerly of Clear Lake, pled guilty to second degree arson last year and in September was sent to the Iowa Correctional Facility for Women in Mitchelville. On August 25, 2014, Paulsen was sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and assessed $2,710.00 in fines, court fees and restitution to the building owner, Russ Hardy. Mason City police, fire fighters, and Cerro Gordo deputies responded to a fire at 231 West State Street in Mason City at about 7:50 PM on the evening of April 21, 2014. Firefighters used force to enter the front door of the dwelling, where there are four apartments. A fire was on the second floor, in an apartment there. Approximately $70,000 worth of damage was done ($60K to property, $10K to contents). The multi-family dwelling had recently been remodeled. No one was inside the apartment but there were occupants in the other apartments in the building. No one was injured during the fire.

Now, Paulsen’s lawyer, John Sorenson of Clear Lake, has arranged for a sentence reconsideration hearing, which he applied for in February. Judge Colleeen Weiland granted the request and the hearing is scheduled for April 27. Paulsen was brought to Mason City Thursday afternoon to await her hearing in the county jail. Her prison sentence could be reduced if a judge sees fit to do so.

Paulsen, Jacque Sue HEADED TO PRISON
Paulsen, Jacque Sue
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