A Fort Worth man was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for setting fire to his neighbor's house with a Molotov cocktail, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas announced Friday.
The 10-year sentence for Mearvin Eugene Hamilton, 53, comes after he plead guilty to a charge of possession of an unregistered destructive device in February.
Hamilton was charged via criminal complaint in August 2019 and indicted on the same charge in January 2020.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Hamilton admitted to constructing "an incendiary device by filling a 12-ounce beer bottle with an ignitable liquid and attaching a cloth wick."
A passerby told police he witnessed a man throw a lit incendiary device at a home in Fort Worth, setting the home ablaze. All four people inside escaped with no injuries.
Investigators found Hamilton on the porch next door sitting next to containers of gasoline and lighter fluid, according to court documents. The Fort Worth man claimed he feared the individuals next door were trying to kill him before admitting he "started throwing bottles of gas as the house" in order to "set it on fire."
U.S. District Judge Reed C. O'Connor sentenced Hamilton Monday and "made an upward departure" from sentencing guidelines due to the circumstances of the offense, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.