Man gets 20 years for 2013 Varnville arson
HAMPTON – A 32-year-old Ridgeland man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for setting a Varnville apartments building on fire after a fight with his girlfriend.
At the conclusion of a three-day trial on Wednesday, June 11, jurors found Andre Green guilty of second-degree burglary, third-degree arson, three counts of malicious injury to personal property and one count of malicious injury to real property for the 2013 arson of Varnville Area Housing Apartments, 160 Ginn Street.
On August 2, 2013, Green was being driven back home to Ridgeland by his girlfriend when the two got into an altercation. The girlfriend left Green by the side of the road and went to report the incident at the Ridgeland Police Department. While she spoke with officers, Green made it home and asked a friend to drive him back to his girlfriend’s apartment. On the way there, he filled up a jug with gas.
Green told his friend, who was unaware of what was about to happen, to wait for him near the apartment complex. Green broke into the home through the bedroom window, doused the apartment with gasoline and lit it on fire. He told his friend what he had done during the drive home.
The fire consumed four apartments, causing more than $360,000 in damage.
“I’m proud of all the witnesses in this case for coming through and assisting the state in bringing justice,” said assistant solicitor Kelvin Wright, who prosecuted the case. “Law enforcement did a great job investigating this case. This is what happens when everyone works together.”
Judge Perry Buckner handed down the sentence.
The apartments are owned by the Varnville Housing Authority, which has since rebuilt the building and is in the process of reopening it.
Green has prior convictions since 2002 for distribution of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance near a school, two counts of possession of cocaine, possession of crack cocaine, failure to stop for blue lights, petit larceny, two counts of simple possession of marijuana, trespassing and second-degree assault and battery.