GREENWOOD, S.C. (AP) — A man who set a fire at a South Carolina Walmart to divert attention as he stole a case of beer has been sentenced to the maximum of 15 years in prison.
Solicitor David Stumbo said 34-year-old Russell Geddings pleaded guilty Tuesday to third-degree arson _ the same day his trial was set to start.
Stumbo says Geddings set a clothes rack on fire at a Greenwood Walmart on Dec. 5 then stole the beer in the chaos.
Stumbo said in a statement no one was injured, but $1.2 million worth of damage was done to the store and merchandise.
Stumbo says Geddings deserved the maximum sentence for putting so many people at risk to steal beer.
Geddings’ attorneys did not answer an email from a reporter seeking comment.