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Police: Arsonist Tried to Frame Detective

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A 55-year-old Billings man police say started a fire at his parents’ home and then tried to frame a sheriff’s detective is facing charges.

The Billings Gazette reports that Lionel Scott Ellison on Friday appeared in Yellowstone County Justice Court where he’s charged with arson and two counts of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

Bond is set at $20,000, but Scott is already serving a three-year prison sentence ordered in April 2013 for violating his probation after being convicted of setting his ex-girlfriend’s car on fire in 2007.

Police say Ellison started the March 13 fire at his parents’ home but blamed Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Det. Frank Fritz.

Investigators found a knife with the name “Fritz” written on it.

But police say DNA evidence points to Ellison.

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