5 years’ prison for Florida man in arson at racial protest

Jul 28, 2021, 12:30 PM | Updated: 12:55 pm

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man was sentenced Wednesday to five years in federal prison for torching a sporting goods store during racial protests in 2020.

A Tampa federal judge imposed the sentence on 21-year-old Terrance Lee Hester Jr., who pleaded guilty to an arson charge in April, according to court records.

Federal investigators say Hester was identified through video surveillance footage as he threw a flaming white cloth through a broken window at a Champs Sports store. Later, prosecutors say, he was seen with a burning palm frond moving toward the store’s back door.

Damage was estimated at $1.2 million. No one was injured. The potential maximum prison sentence for Hester was 20 years.

The store was burned during several nights of racial justice protests in Tampa following the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer. Similar protests were held around the country.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that state prosecutors charged 120 people with 265 separate crimes related to the unrest, including burglary and grand theft. Hester’s father is among those charged in the looting of businesses.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock campaigns on Sept. 2, 2022, in Atlanta with other members of historica...
Associated Press

In Georgia, how sports explain a political battleground

SMYRNA, Ga. (AP) — The reception area of a metro Atlanta office suite is a veritable museum of Herschel Walker’s football success for the University of Georgia Bulldogs and the NFL. The office is part of the Atlanta Braves’ real estate development in the Major League Baseball franchise’s new suburban home. This headquarters for Georgia’s […]
8 hours ago
Sterling Sheffield, an assistant professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at the Univers...
Associated Press

FDA change ushers in cheaper, easier-to-get hearing aids

It’s now a lot easier — and cheaper — for many hard-of-hearing Americans to get help. Hearing aids can now be sold without a prescription from a specialist. Over-the-counter, or OTC, hearing aids started hitting the market in October at prices that can be thousands of dollars lower than prescription hearing aids. About 30 million […]
8 hours ago
FILE - Light illuminates part of the Supreme Court building at dusk on Capitol Hill in Washington, ...
Associated Press

Supreme Court weighs ‘most important case’ on democracy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is about to confront a new elections case, a Republican-led challenge asking the justices for a novel ruling that could significantly increase the power of state lawmakers over elections for Congress and the presidency. The court is set to hear arguments Wednesday in a case from North Carolina, where […]
8 hours ago
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, an image captured off a screen at the Jiuquan Satelli...
Associated Press

3 Chinese astronauts return to Earth after 6-month mission

BEIJING (AP) — Three Chinese astronauts landed in a northern desert on Sunday after six months working to complete construction of the Tiangong station, a symbol of the country’s ambitious space program, state TV reported. A capsule carrying commander Chen Dong and astronauts Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe touched down at a landing site in […]
8 hours ago
FILE - The logo of the Organization of the Petroleoum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seen outside of...
Associated Press

No OPEC+ oil shakeup as Russian price cap stirs uncertainty

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The Saudi-led OPEC oil cartel and allied producers including Russia did not change their targets for shipping oil to the global economy amid uncertainty about the impact of new Western sanctions against Russia that could take significant amounts of oil off the market. The decision at a meeting of oil ministers […]
8 hours ago
Associated Press

Police: Vandalism suspected in North Carolina power outage

MOORE COUNTY, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina believe vandalism may have caused a power outage that affected thousands of customers Saturday night. A mass power outage in several communities beginning just after 7 p.m. Saturday “is being investigated as a criminal occurrence,” the Moore County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. “As […]
8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
5 years’ prison for Florida man in arson at racial protest