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Man held on $40,000 bail after being charged with arson and assault

  • FL Morris /
    A mugshot from the Honolulu Police Department shows Theodore Cota, who is charged with arson and assault in connection with a Feb. 19, 2012 fire in Makakilo.

A 35-year-old man made his initial appearance in District Court today after being charged with setting fire to his Makakilo townhouse two weeks ago following a violent argument with his wife.

Bail for Theodore Cota, who didn’t list an address when he was arrested Wednesday, is set at $40,000. He is charged with first-degree arson and abuse of a family member 

No one was injured in the Feb. 18 blaze, which consumed the end unit of four conjoined duplex townhouses at 92-987 Makakilo Drive. The fire caused about $150,000 damage to the Palehua Gardens unit and contents.

Before the 9:40 p.m. fire, a neighbor said he heard a woman screaming and saw Cota outside on the sidewalk hitting his wife. Neighbors helped the woman and her children get away.

After the man returned to the townhouse, neighbors said they heard a loud noise and saw smoke and flames coming from the first floor of the two-story unit.



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