St. Paul man gets 14 years for trying to kill girlfriend

  • Article by: ANTHONY LONETREE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 16, 2011 - 11:29 PM

Louis Ambrose, 48, pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree murder after setting an East Side apartment on fire in August.

A St. Paul man was sentenced to 14 years in prison Friday after attempting to kill his longtime girlfriend by setting their East Side apartment on fire.

Authorities say Louis Ambrose, 48, tossed incendiary devices into the four-plex unit on Aug. 16 and then tried to keep the girlfriend, Ebony Jones, 36, from leaving the apartment as her 10-year-old son tried to pull her out.

"I'm going to kill her! I'm going to kill her!" Ambrose was quoted as saying in the charges filed against him in Ramsey County District Court.

Ambrose, who had previous domestic assault and disorderly conduct convictions, was sentenced by District Judge Salvador Rosas.

Jones suffered no injuries in the fire, having been pulled to safety by a neighbor. She was clad only in a blue shower curtain. She attended Friday's sentencing but did not speak to the judge. A statement was read on her behalf expressing relief that the case was over.

Afterward, Jones said she since has moved with her three youngest children into a new apartment on the East Side, and while hopeful for the future, was finding her new life a struggle.

"He took a lot from me," she said. "I don't know if I trust anyone anymore."

According to the charges, Ambrose went to the apartment after getting out of the Regions Hospital Crisis Center. An argument ensued, Jones called police and Ambrose left before officers arrived. He returned to find a packed suitcase outside.

She later awoke to the sound of something crashing through her window and the sight of her bedroom curtains on fire. Ambrose also sprayed lighter fluid on her and tried unsuccessfully to light a lighter, Jones later told police.

On Friday, she said that her 10-year-old son, who tried pulling her out of the burning apartment while Ambrose kept pulling her inside, "was willing to die for me."

The family lost everything, she said, and the children were unlikely to get Christmas gifts this year.

"It's so hard because he did this for no reason," she said. "He broke up our family for nothing."

Anthony Lonetree • 612-875-0041

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