St. Paul man sentenced for arson fire at apartment of woman with protection order against him

A convicted felon already serving a prison sentence has been given more time behind bars for setting a fire in a woman’s St. Paul apartment after police responded to a report that he violated an order for protection she had against him.

Timothy Satin Thigpen, 40, of St. Paul, had pleaded guilty to first-degree arson in connection with starting a bedroom ablaze in the 1500 block of Marion Street on the city’s North End on Feb. 23, 2022.

Timothy Satin Thigpen (Courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Corrections)

The nearly seven-year prison sentence handed down by Ramsey County District Judge Edward Sheu will run concurrent with Thigpen’s five-year term he was given in Hennepin County in April 2022 for second-degree assault and possession of a firearm after conviction of a crime of violence. He is currently at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Faribault.

Fire crews contained the blaze to the bedroom, though the building’s caretaker told authorities several units were damaged and a portion of the building was temporarily condemned. A cat that died in the fire belonged to a woman who Thigpen wasn’t supposed to have contact with, according to court records.

As part of an August plea agreement with Ramsey County prosecutors, the 83-month sentence will also run concurrently for convictions of failing to register as a predatory offender and violating a domestic abuse order for protection. Sheu adjudicated him guilty of those two offenses at the same sentencing hearing, giving him 36- and 33-month prison terms.

According to the arson criminal complaint, police officers responded to a report of a violation of an order for protection at the North End apartment. They spoke with a woman and left after finding out the suspect, Thigpen, wasn’t there.

An hour later, police were told Thigpen was back at the apartment and they returned.

Thigpen locked himself in a bedroom, and said he was armed and he wanted police to kill him, the complaint says. Officers tried to negotiate with him.

Thigpen started the room on fire and officers cleared residents out of the building. Thigpen eventually came out of the room, holding a knife to his throat. He surrendered the weapon and was arrested.

Thigpen told police he was invited to the apartment to see his son, and left when he had an argument with the woman. He said he knew it would be one of the last times he could visit his son because he said he was going to turn himself in to prison in April to serve a long sentence.

Thigpen’s criminal history also includes convictions for first-degree aggravated robbery, third-degree drug possession, receiving stolen property, theft and interfering with a 911 call.

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