SIOUX CITY (KTIV) – A Sioux City man arrested for starting a fire inside an apartment has pleaded guilty to arson and has received his sentence.

On Wednesday, July 3, court documents show 29-year-old Robelio Cabrera-Escobar was sentenced to four years of probation after pleading guilty to second-degree arson. Originally, Cabrera-Escobar was charged with first-degree arson but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

Authorities say back in February 2024, Cabrera-Escobar set fire to a Bible inside his bedroom at a Sioux City apartment. Cabrera-Escobar then reportedly set the Bible on the carpet where it continued to burn and eventually filled the room with smoke.

Cabrera-Escobar lived on the second floor of an apartment house located at 1310 Jones Street. Authorities say the apartment was occupied by four other people at the time of the fire. The first floor of the apartment house was also occupied.

The four other residents on the second floor included Cabrera-Escobar’s brother, girlfriend, a child and one other person. This incident happened at about 3 a.m. and authorities say the other residents quickly became aware of the fire and attempted to enter Cabrera-Escobar’s room.

Due to the bedroom door being locked, authorities say Cabrera-Escobar’s brother had to force his way into the room and extinguish the fire. Authorities say Cabrera-Escobar could only offer “being angry” as a reason for starting the arson and wouldn’t elaborate further.

Under Cabrera-Escobar’s probation, he must undergo a substance abuse and mental health evaluation and go through any treatment recommended by health care professionals or his probation officer. Cabrera-Escobar shall also be placed in the Residential Treatment Facility and will remain in the custody of the county jail with a work release.

Original Article – Sioux City man gets probation after lighting a Bible on fire inside an apartment (


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