Man sentenced for arsons, including one in Edmonds

James Doggett, 64, set three fires in Snohomish, Skagit and King counties within about a week.

James P. Doggett (Edmonds Police Department)

James P. Doggett (Edmonds Police Department)

EDMONDS — A man was sentenced this month to 2¾ years in prison for three arsons in as many counties, including one in Edmonds in late 2020.

On June 13, James Doggett pleaded guilty in Skagit County Superior Court to one count of attempted first-degree arson and two counts of second-degree arson.

Prosecutors alleged Doggett, 64, started all three fires within about a week in Skagit, King and Snohomish counties.

The first was in Edmonds. Early on the morning of Dec. 23, 2020, the Firdale Market went up in flames. South County Fire estimated the damage at $325,000.

While firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze, Doggett reportedly climbed out of a clothing bin against the south wall of the market. He spoke incoherently. Officers let him go.

Surveillance footage later showed a man in front of the store grabbing paper from a nearby garbage can to build a fire. Smoke billowed. The man then placed the entire trash bag from the can into the flames, according to police. The man stared at his fiery creation.

The man in the video appeared to be Doggett, an officer noted.

On Dec. 31, 2020, Doggett set fire to a booth in a Seattle parking garage, according to police. Security video showed the defendant walking toward the booth seconds before the fire started. It was destroyed. Officials estimated the cost to replace it would be $50,000.

A witness saw Doggett’s photo in The Daily Herald and believed he was the same man who torched the parking garage booth.

The next day, Doggett was in Mount Vernon. He tried to light gas pumps on fire at a Shell station with lighter fluid stolen from the gas station convenience store, according to police. He was not successful.

When approached by officers, Doggett identified himself as “God” and talked about being brothers in arms with police. He eventually gave his real name. Asked why he was in Mount Vernon, Doggett said he thought he was going to Smokey Point.

Mount Vernon police arrested Doggett for investigation of arson and misdemeanor theft.

In an interview with police, Doggett acknowledged setting the parking booth on fire. The officers showed him photos from the surveillance footage. The defendant signed or initialed a few, according to a police report. On a photo of the booth, he wrote “JIM TORCHED” with an arrow pointing at the booth.

Court records show Doggett has ties to the Edmonds area dating back to the 1990s.

For the three fires, Doggett faced up to about 3⅓ years under state sentencing guidelines. On June 13, Skagit County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Neidzwski sentenced him to 2¾ years.

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439;; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

Talk to us

More in Local News

The sign at Swedish Edmonds. (Herald file)
New deal gives Swedish nurses, health care workers a big boost in pay

The health care provider and SEIU 1199NW agreed to raises totaling at least 21.5% in the next three years

Ahadi family arriving in Washington on Oct. 22, 2021. (photo courtesy of Lutheran Community Services Northwest)
A year later, Afghan refugees in Lynnwood see brighter future ahead

Ziaurahman Ahadi served as a trauma medic on battlefields in Afghanistan. Now he builds fireplaces to support a family of eight.

4th defendant pleads guilty in white supremacist attack

Jason Stanley, of Boise, Idaho is one of four men prosecuted for attacking a Black DJ in Lynnwood.

A business on Highway 99 sustained heavy damage in a fire Wednesday morning north of Lynnwood. (South County Fire)
Arson damages building on Highway 99 north of Lynnwood

The fire in the 15800 block caused the highway to close between 156th and 164th streets SW on Wednesday morning.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Snohomish man suffers life-threatening injuries in police shootout

The Valley Independent Investigative Team reported state troopers returned fire when a driver shot at them near Clearview.

An EA-18G Growler taxis down the airstrip on Naval Air Station Whidbey Island during the squadron’s welcome home ceremony in August 2017. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Wood/U.S. Navy)
Talks break down over ‘remedy’ in Whidbey Island Growler lawsuit

“From the get-go, everyone recognized that it was probably going to end up in the court’s hands.”

Logo for news use featuring Camano Island in Island County, Washington. 220118
Island County settles sexual harassment lawsuit with deputy

The county will pay Deputy Mike Adrian a total of $105,000.

Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney in a video decries an erosion of public safety and increase in brazen criminal behavior. (Screenshot)
Snohomish County sheriff, chorus of local leaders decry policing reforms

Criminals are getting more brazen, they said. In a video, they called for easing vehicle pursuit rules and stiffening drug laws.

Attorney Michael Andrews, left, and Kyle Brown listen to the judge's address Wednesday afternoon at the Snohomish County Superior Courthouse in Everett, Washington on September 21, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Marysville ex-youth minister gets community service for sexual assault

Kyle Brown, of Marysville, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault with a sexual motivation last month. In 2019, he was charged with molestation.

Most Read