LEHI — A Lehi man was charged Friday with trying to start a fire in his house while his children were inside and making it look like an accident.
On Feb. 12, police say Brad Thomas Hanks, 36, locked his wife out of their house while allowing his three juvenile children to go inside.
"The wife could see smoke in the house," charging documents state.
When the woman told Hanks she was calling 911, he unsuccessfully tried to take her phone awa, according to the charges. She told police she was able to get the children out of the home and Hanks then ran off.
Inside, investigators reported finding evidence that Hanks had attempted to use the toaster to start a fire.1 comment on this story
"The wife told officers that the defendant's father is a fire investigator and had told them about how you could burn a house down without it appearing as arson," the charges state.
Court records show the wife got a protective order against the husband on Thursday.
Hanks is charged in 4th District Court with aggravated arson, a first-degree felony; three counts of domestic violence in the presence of children, a third-degree felony; and damaging a communication device, a class B misdemeanor. All charges carry enhanced domestic violence penalties if he is convicted, according to court records.