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Police find house on fire at stabbing

LAWRENCEVILLE - A domestic assault erupted into arson Sunday, officials said, when a man accused of assaulting his wife and her brother then tried to set his house on fire.

John Matthew Linton, 52, has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault for the attacks as well as a count of obstruction and one of first-degree arson, Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Darren Moloney said.

Police, fire and medical units were dispatched with a report of a stabbing to 375 Cedarhurst Road in the Lawrenceville area at about 8:44 a.m. Sunday. When they were treating the victims, crews observed smoke coming from the garage, Gwinnett County Fire Lt. Thomas Rutledge said.

Investigators believe Linton and his wife, Brenda Linton, 50, were arguing over the family car when the man grabbed a sharp object and sliced his wife's hand. Linton then allegedly grabbed a knife and stabbed Jerome Evans, the wife's 48-year-old brother, who is described as mentally challenged.

Moloney said Linton attempted to set the house on fire by lighting a newspaper and setting items in the garage on fire.

Rutledge said the fire was under control quickly and damage was contained to contents inside the garage.

Linton was denied bond and is being held in the Gwinnett County Detention Center.

Brenda Linton was treated at Gwinnett Medical Center and has been released, Moloney said. Evans was admitted to the Lawrenceville hospital but was expected to survive his injuries.