5-year sentence given in central Louisiana strip mall arson

October 22, 2021 GMT

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) — A man who set two fires at a central Louisiana strip mall has been sentenced to five years in prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Friday.

Jasmine Roberson of Baton Rouge was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dee Drell. Court records show Roberson pleaded guilty in June.

Prosecutors say Roberson set two fires at an Alexandria strip mall in 2019 at the behest of an inmate in a Louisiana prison.

The U.S. Attorney’s release said the inmate planned to collect insurance money on a business at the strip mall that he he had put money into.

“The first fire on April 20, 2019 was started on the wrong business so Roberson went back on May 3, 2019 and attempted to set fire to the correct business location,” the release from acting U.S. Attorney Alexander Van Hook said.

Prosecutors said Roberson was linked to the crime by DNA evidence and admitted to setting the fires, which were under investigation by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents and the Alexandria Fire Department.