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Mom Speaks Out About Son Charged With Setting Her Home On Fire

A family in Newport continues to pick up the pieces after their home was set on fire Monday night. Richard and Dawn Amen are speaking out about the traumatizing experience. Dawn's son Jesse Cox was arrested Monday night, and is accused of setting the house on fire and stabbing his step-sister's boyfriend Aaron Quinn.

"It's surreal to tell you the truth. I go back and forth between anger and hurt...dispari," said Dawn Amen.

Two days after their house nearly burned to the ground, Dawn and Richard Amen said it's a story of triumph and tragedy.

"Triumph because we're still here we're surviving. Tragedy is the injuries to Aaron, the loss of my dogs that had been with us 10 years, and Jesse throwing away life at 26. That I think this could have been prevented," said Richard.

Jesse cox, Richard's step-son and Dawn's son, was arrested Monday and is accused of lighting the house on fire and stabbing his step-sister's boyfriend, Aaron Quinn. The family says when Quinn fled the burning home, Cox was waiting for him outside and attacked.

"I don't think he blames Jesse because he knows Jesse's had problems, and they grew up together. They've known each other all their lives," said Dawn.

Dawn says physically, Quinn is doing better, but he has a long road to recovery. As for her son Jesse:

"I still love him. Ihope he gets the help he needs. I hate that he's thrown his life away like this. I really just want to know why. "

Wednesday friends gathered to help the Amens pick up the pieces of their damaged home.

"It's hard to come here and look at cleaning up but it has to be done so we figured the best thing is to work on it and pull through. " said Dawn.

They say the help and support from good people is making each day a little bit easier.

"It's overwhelming. It's really overwhelming and I feel blessed. I feel very blessed," said Dawn.

Richard says the real heroes in this are his wife Dawn and daughter Cheyenne. He says if they hadn't woken up and seen the smoke, none of them would be alive. Aaron and Cheyenne's three-week old baby is also doing better. The baby was taken to the hospital Monday night suffering from smoke inhalation.

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A Newport man is under arrest accused of stabbing a person and setting his house on fire while people inside were asleep.

Jesse Cox, 26, of 2530 E. Forest Drive was booked in the Carteret County Jail under an $800,000 bond. He's due in court Tuesday morning.

Police say fire and police were dispatched to Cox's home Monday night for a fire. The home was engulfed in flames when crews arrived, and several people were outside the house. Officers quickly learned that one of the people who lived in that home had been stabbed several times by another resident. Police quickly identified Jesse Cox as the suspect and took him into custody.

Police say before the fire, Cox had gotten into a dispute with other residents of the home. They believe that drove Cox to start the house on fire while everyone else was asleep. After the fire had been started, police believe Cox stabbed Aaron Quinn at least five times with a kitchen knife.

Quinn was transported to Carteret General Hospital and is recovering after surgery. Also, a three-week-old baby was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. The fire killed two dogs.

Police say Cox lived in the house he set on fire with
his parents, Richard and Dawn Amen, his sister, Cheyenne Amen, her boyfriend Aaron Quinn, and their three-week old baby.

Newport police say they've responded to this residence least seven times in the last two years for incidents involving domestic disturbances, threats, and drunk and disorderly conduct.

Fire crews from Newport, Wildwood, Morehead City, and Cherry Point Fire Dept. responded to the scene, along with Havelock and Broad and Gales Creek EMS. Crews were able to contain the fire; no other structures were threatened.

The fire chief says it appears Cox doused some mattresses with gasoline in the carport and set them on fire.

Cox is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday on the following charges: first degree arson, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill, five counts of attempted first degree murder and animal cruelty.


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