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Ex-Iowa police officer gets 10 years

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012 11:39 a.m. CDT

MASON CITY (AP) — A former Forest City police officer convicted of starting a fire at the police station and stealing a rifle from a police car has been given up to 10 years in prison.

Thaddeus Ellenbecker, 35, still maintained his innocence when he was sentenced on Tuesday in Winnebago County District Court in Forest City.

A judge convicted Ellenbecker of second-degree arson and second-degree burglary in a nonjury trial.

Ellenbecker was charged with setting the fire that damaged the Forest City police station in October 2011 and with stealing an assault rifle from a squad car in November 2010.

Ellenbecker was shot during a scuffle with a state agent investigating the crimes.