Two young men who firebombed an Augusta home in the middle of the night while a woman and her pets slept pleaded guilty Monday to arson and cruelty to animals.
Justin B. Hall, 23, and Kyle D. Capps, 24, blamed each other for the fire that destroyed Janice Tierney’s Cambridge Drive home April 13 and killed two of her dogs. A third dog survived the fire in a wire kennel, though he was injured and still whimpers in his sleep, Tierney said.
The arson topped a list of repeated incidents of harassment and threats by Hall after he and Tierney’s daughter ended a romantic relationship, said Assistant District Attorney Rex Myers. The Tierney family believes Hall was also responsible for damage done to a vehicle and a previous burglary of the home, which was vandalized in the break-in.
Capps told investigators that he knew what Hall intended to do that night and that he drove him to the house and waited on Hall, who returned laughing, Myers said. Hall said that he just went to the home to get back some of his belongings and that Capps filled a beer bottle with gas that he must have used to start the fire as they were leaving.
Tierney was awakened about
2:30 a.m. when she heard glass breaking in her daughter’s bedroom. When she went to investigate because her daughter wasn’t home, she found the room engulfed in flames. Tierney was able to make it outside.
Chief Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet sentenced Hall to eight years in prison, followed by seven years on probation. He sentenced Capps to eight years in prison, followed by four years probation. They are responsible for $7,000 each in restitution. The judge granted the defense attorneys’ request and sentenced them under the First Offender Act.