Man faces arson and assault charges after drunken eviction attempt

A 49-year-old man angered that his attempt to evict someone from his property Saturday turned into a drunken fight then allegedly tried to burn down his own house, authorities said.

Brian Phillip Hanscom, 49, was arraigned Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court on charges of first-degree arson and fourth-degree assault stemming from the 8 p.m. altercation as his residence on the first block of West Glenwood Road near west Medford.

First-degree arson is punishable, upon conviction, by a mandatory minimum sentence of 7 1/2 years under Oregon's Measure 11 sentencing law.

Hanscom lives at a residence on the property and a woman had lived in a trailer on the property, according to the Jackson County Sheriff's Department.

Hanscom, who was "visibly intoxicated," was apparently attempting to evict the woman when an argument ensued and he hit her, sheriff's spokeswoman Andrea Carlson said.

The angry Hanscom went inside his residence and put a stack of papers on his lit stove before going to bed, Carlson said.

Witnesses said the flames reached 6 to 8 inches high before they were able to extinguish the fire prior to the arrival of police and firefighters, Carlson said.

Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Kelly Ravassipour set Hanscom's bail at $15,000 Monday and ordered him back to the Jackson County Jail, where he had been held since his arrest Saturday.

— Mark Freeman

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