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Man accused of setting fire, beating man enters pleas

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — A Virginia man accused of beating a 71-year-old man, tying him up and setting an apartment ablaze has pleaded no contest to arson and unlawful wounding.

The Roanoke Times reports 21-year-old Omarr Romance Martin entered pleas in the case Tuesday. Prosecutors say he suffers from intellectual and emotional challenges.

Roanoke Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Betty Jo Anthony says Martin was visiting Clarence Arthur Kakert when they got into a violent disagreement in 2017. She says Martin beat Kakert, bounded his wrists and ankles, put him into a bathtub and used rubbing alcohol to set a bed ablaze.

Anthony says Kakert got out of the apartment and recovered. She says the fire caused $35,000 in damage and displaced other tenants.

A judge is expected to sentence Martin in March.

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Information from: The Roanoke Times, http://www.roanoke.com

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