WASHINGTON – The man who pled guilty to multiple charges of arson in the D.C. area was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years in prison.
Maurice Dews, 27, of D.C. was arrested last year and entered a guilty plea in November 2011 to five counts of arson stemming from a series of fires that occurred over a three and a half year period.
The guilty plea is part of a broader plea agreement covering three counts of first-degree arson in Maryland. If approved by a judge, Dews will be sentenced to an additional 15 years, served concurrently with Tuesday’s sentence.
Dews has admitted to starting at least five fires in the District between January 2008 and June 2011. He also admitted to setting three fires in Prince George’s County, Md.
He also pled guilty to four counts of aggravated assault while armed stemming from a fire he started in April 2011 in NE Washington. Four firefighters were seriously hurt in the fire.
“Mr. Dews caused life-changing injuries to these firefighters, and destroyed homes in densely populated neighborhoods,” Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said in a news release. “This sentence won’t heal the firefighters’ injuries, but we hope that it will cause others to think twice before committing arson in the future.”
Dews frequently sought vacant homes or structures to set his fires, often alerting police and nearby residents himself.
However, on April 8, 2011, firefighters responded to a fire set by Dews, unaware that the home was vacant. They entered the home in an attempt to save those who may have been inside and all five sustained serious burns, four of whom have permanent scarring.
Dews admitted to setting the following fires in D.C.:
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