2 men plead guilty to setting fire to Fayetteville’s Market House during protests

Cumberland County News

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WNCN) – Two Fayetteville men have pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from the burning of Fayetteville’s Market House in May.

The fire happened following an otherwise peaceful protest on May 30. The protest turned violent when several people broke into the Market House and set fire to it.

Pittman (USDOJ)

Andrew Garcia-Smith, 32, of Fayetteville, was arrested by special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives after he was released from a hospital due to burn injuries he sustained as a result of his involvement in the arson, the Department of Justice said.

Garcia-Smith was originally charged with one count of maliciously damaging property owned or possessed by an institution receiving federal financial assistance.

Charles Anthony Pittman was also arrested in connection with the fire.

Related: Man accused of setting fire to the Market House in Fayetteville says he’s remorseful in message from jail

On Sept. 29, Pittman pleaded guilty to two charges of the malicious burning of a building and inciting a riot.

On Nov. 5, Garcia-Smith pleaded guilty to one charge of malicious burning of a building.

Both Pittman and Garcia-Smith face mandatory minimum sentences of 5 years in prison.

Pittman and Garcia-Smith’s sentencings are scheduled for the January 2021 and February 2021 terms of court, respectively.

Andrew Garcia-Smith in photos at the Market House during the protests. Images from Fayetteville police

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