DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Fort Worth man who set fire to his neighbor’s house using a homemade Molotov cocktail was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox announced Thursday.
Mearvin Eugene Hamilton, 53, was charged with possession of an unregistered destructive device, a Molotov cocktail, in August 2019, and indicted in January 2020.
He pleaded guilty in February 2020.
Hamilton admitted he had constructed an incendiary device by filling a 12-ounce beer bottle with an ignitable liquid and attaching a cloth wick.
The investigation began on July 12, 2019 when a passerby told police he’d witnessed a man throw a lit incendiary device at a home in Fort Worth, setting the home on fire.
Four people inside – two adults and two children – got out safely.
Fort Worth Fire Department Arson and ATF investigators responded to the scene and saw Hamilton sitting on the porch of the home next door, next to containers of gasoline and lighter fluid.
Hamilton – who claimed he feared the people next door were trying to kill him – later waived his Miranda rights and admitted to investigators he “started throwing bottles of gas at the house” in order to “set it on fire.”