Cape man sentenced for setting apartment building fire

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A seven-year prison sentence was given Tuesday to an admitted Cape Girardeau arsonist.

Anthony R. Williams, 20, of 902 Jefferson Ave., received the sentence from Circuit Judge David A. Dolan for first-degree arson in an Aug. 11 apartment building fire.

Williams pleaded guilty to the charge in March, admitting that he set a hand towel on fire in a second-floor bathroom of the Huggins Apartment building, 401 S. Pacific St., a news release from the office of Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle stated.

After igniting the hand towel, Williams placed it in a linen closet and left the scene. He claimed he was thinking suicidal thoughts at the time and did not want to get anyone hurt, according to the release. No one was was injured.

Williams, who has no prior criminal record, was also responsible for reporting the fire and helping people out of the building.

As first-degree arson is a class B felony, Williams is required to serve at least 85 percent of the sentence. He could have received up to 15 years' imprisonment for the offense.

The case was heard by Dolan in Mississippi County on a change of venue.

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