UPDATE: Man Charged With Setting Fire To Estranged Wife's Home

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

A messy divorce leads to arson in St. Johns as a man is accused of setting his estranged wife's house on fire over the weekend.

23-year-old Cody Haubert was charged with arson, stalking, and malicious destruction of property Wednesday in St. Johns district court.

Haubert was currently under and in violation of a personal protection order from his soon-to-be ex-wife, Nicole, and her three children.

"What we are seeing is an escalation of the violence of this individual that's gotta stop," St. Johns Police Chief Michael Madden said.

Nicole's father said he feared for his daughter's life.

"What started out as a decent relationship, turned into this," Nicole's father and Haubert's father-in-law Randy Moon said. "It's just a tragedy."

Neighbors who witnessed Saturday morning's fire said this wasn't a happy marriage.

"It seemed like they argued," Sherry Smith said. "We could hear them sometimes." Smith lives across the street from Nicole's home on North Clinton Ave.

Police have responded to the home in the past for domestic assaults and property damage, but this time around it was a fire around 5:45 a.m. January 26. It took several departments at least eight hours to put it out, with about $50,000 worth of damage done.

"Fire got into the walls and into the attic, and made for a very stubborn blaze," Chief Madden said.

Investigators found the back door kicked in and believe the fire was started in two different places. Thankfully, no one was injured or home at the time, including Nicole's three children.

"This was their future, this was the house they were going to be in when they graduated high school and mature and grow up and move out of, and be on their own," Moon said. "And now it's taken from them."

It was also the home of a soldier. Haubert was in the Army reserves and had an assignment this upcoming weekend, but instead, he'll spend it behind bars.

"This guy's gotta go away and go away for a long time," Chief Madden said.

Nicole filed for divorce in December, less than five months after marrying Haubert. For now she's staying with her children at a friend's house.

Haubert is in jail for violating the personal protection order. He faces up to 20 years for the arson charge and 5 years for stalking.

A preliminary exam is set for Feb. 7.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by PFC Swope on Feb 26, 2013 at 10:49 AM
    Personally, I find it distasteful that this establishment feels the need to discuss his military career in this scenario at all. Organizations like yourselves and others are the reason that the U.S. Miltary is getting a bad rep. Everytime an individual with the Military Background finds themselves in trouble, you plaster it on every channel, and every newspaper. Men and Women have died with nothing being said by the media, but calling out the fact that he is Military, whether this was his doing or not, is just disrespectful, to him, and to the Military. His Career has nothing to do with this event, and therefore I must question why it was posted. As a friend of his, and a fellow soldier, I must say you've dragged us all through the mud. PFC Swope
  • by Aimee England Location: Hillsdale MI on Jan 31, 2013 at 02:38 PM
    Commerical video on this article before the video is "Sometimes it's OK to Throw Rocks at Pretty Girls". Tasteless on Domestic Violence case/issue article. Offensive and cluesless. Thank you News 10.
  • by Kelly Location: R on Jan 31, 2013 at 07:46 AM
    What's really scary is that he is the father of her youngest child. What if they had been home? I think his intentions were more than arson.
  • by Johnny Location: Lansing on Jan 31, 2013 at 04:21 AM
    I don't believe in demons. I do, however, believe in people whose personalities never got to experience how important others can be to their own personal growth. Teaching respect and compassion can go a long way toward raising an emotionally stable adult. Instead he's got serious jealously or delusional issues and maybe a little PTSD. No demons here, sorry.
  • by Jeff Location: Lansing on Jan 31, 2013 at 02:07 AM
    That's how demonic spirits attack - yes she is lucky to be alive. He gets put away, that will not stop the demonic spirits after her. Judge not lest you be judged - unless you been in them shoes - don't speak what you would do.
  • by Johnny Location: Lansing on Jan 30, 2013 at 07:13 PM
    Dude. You should have just walked away. Now you've gone and ruined your life, ruined someone's home. I pray you didn't have a child in that house.
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