Bond set for man charged in connection with fatal fire in Clinton

Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 7:54 PM CDT
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CLINTON, Iowa (KWQC) - Bond was set Thursday at $1 million cash-only for a man charged with setting a fire that left a man dead in Clinton.

Trevor Allan Jeorge Ward, 30, is charged with first-degree murder, a Class A felony punishable by life without parole, and first-degree arson, a Class B felony punishable by 25 years in prison.

He has a preliminary hearing April 8.

According to arrest affidavits:

Around 6:52 a.m. Saturday, Clinton County Communications received a 911 call from a tenant of an apartment complex at 78 31st Avenue North about the building being full of smoke.

Tenants of the building kicked open the door of one of the apartments, but the fire was too much for them to extinguish on their own.

Clinton firefighters went into the apartment put out the fire and discovered a man, later identified as 41-year-old Dustin Christopher Doran, dead.

Doran, formerly of Newton, lived in the apartment.

An investigator from the state fire marshal’s office found multiple areas of origin around Doran’s body.

Doran had fatal, non-accidental injuries unrelated to the fire.

The investigator concluded that the fire was intentionally set.

A neighbor of Doran’s told investigators that around 6 a.m., she heard a loud thump inside his apartment, which shook the common wall between the two apartments.

She also said she heard arguing and described a loud male and a soft-spoken person.

A backpack placed inside a hooded sweatshirt was found in the common hallway of the apartment complex.

The Tennant that called 911 found it odd and out of place and mentioned it during the initial 911 call.

Written in black marker on the backpack was the name “Dusty.” Inside the backpack, investigators found numerous prescription pill bottles with Ward’s name on it.

Inside the apartment, investigators found multiple pill bottles with Ward’s name on it.

While investigating the scene of the fire, Clinton police responded around 11:53 a.m. to a disturbance in the 400 block of 5th Avenue South.

Ward was arrested after police say he attacked a 65-year-old man.

Ward was transported to the Clinton County Jail.

Police spoke with the niece of the 65-year-old man, who said she knew Ward from a previous job she had.

She said Ward approached her around 8:10 a.m. in the 500 block of 2nd Avenue South as she got out of her car. She said she noticed blood on the knuckles of Ward’s left hand as he spoke to her.

An officer who responded told investigators there was a smell of smoke coming form the hat worn by Ward when he was arrested.

The officer, who has served as an arson investigator for the police department, said the smoke smell was similar to that of a structure fire.

At the time of his arrest, Ward had a knife, Motorola cell phone, miscellaneous items and a billfold believed to belong to Doran.

Inside the billfold were multiple cards with Doran’s name on them, along with a social security cared.

Three cards belonging to Ward also were found in the billfold.

On Doran’s Facebook page, investigators found a post made by him in January that showed a pair of red and white Air Jordans and a caption that read “My new jays! In my new apartment.”

The shoes appeared to be the same ones worn by Ward when he was arrested Saturday, according to the affidavits.

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