A federal judge sentenced a 19-year-old from Starkville, Mississippi, to 37 months in federal prison for arson after the teen set his father and stepmother’s military home in Fort George G. Meade on fire in August 2020.
Cornelius Hendrix pleaded guilty to arson in July, according to the Maryland Office of the Attorney General, which announced the sentence. Hendrix admitted as part of his plea to pouring lighter fluid in areas of the home, including outside his parents’ bedroom door, at the top of a staircase, and on the front door welcome mat, according to the release. He then ignored a fire inside the house and jumped off the rear porch and injured his leg.
Firefighters extinguished the blaze with minimal property damage and no physical injuries, according to the news release. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake presided over Hendrix’s case.
Hendrix was interviewed by Fort Meade military police and acknowledged spreading the lighter fluid and lighting the fire, according to the attorney general’s office. Hendrix remains in custody and is awaiting transport to Mississippi for an unrelated case. He was charged with two counts of attempted murder in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi, for a shooting that occurred before the arson in August 2020, the release said.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Baltimore Field Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office, the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, the Howard County State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Fort Meade Fire Department and the Fort Meade Military Police for their work in the investigation.
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