robesonian.com

SC man pleads guilty to arson

By Sarah Willets swillets@civitasmedia.com

January 16, 2014

LUMBERTON — After pleading guilty to setting a fire that caused at least $65,000 in damage to a storage facility, a South Carolina man has been ordered to pay more than $83,000 in restitution to the victims.


Jeremiah Jermaine Weaver, of Hemingway, S.C., pleaded guilty on Wednesday to burning of a structure, misdemeanor trespassing, felony and misdemeanor breaking and entering, felony larceny and injury to real property in the blaze at Noble Storage on Starlite Drive on Jan. 26, 2013.


The fire damaged 28 out 32 storage units, according to Lt. Brain Duckworth, arson investigator with the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office. There were 18 victims in the case, Duckworth said.


Weaver, 26 at the time of the fire, was also sentenced to 10 to 21 months in prison, followed by five years of probation. According to Duckworth, Weaver was previously charged with burning a structure in South Carolina.


Weaver was also given two consecutive terms of eight to 19 months in prison, both of which were suspended. He was ordered to do 200 hours of community service and to not possess any incendiary devices, Duckworth said.


Superior Court Judge Greg Bell handed down the sentence.


Jonathan Brooks Pressley, also of Hemingway, pleaded guilty to setting the fire in September.


According to Duckworth, the two men had used a hand truck to move stolen items from nine of the storage units to an apartment complex about 200 yards away where Pressley’s girlfriend lived. Officers followed the trail left by the wheels and found the stolen items at the apartment complex and in the trunk of an open car, Duckworth said.


Sarah Willets can be reached at 910-272-6127.