GASTONIA, N.C. (WJZY) — The man accused of torching Tony’s Ice Cream Shop will stay in jail under a $1 million bond.
Prosecutors said they did not want to go into details in the case multiple times, but they asked the judge to consider safety when setting bond.
While police are not saying why Tony’s was set on fire, it might have come down to a controversy from two years ago.
The video was shared, showing someone running across the parking lot, grabbing a flammable accelerant, and tossing it inside a popular Gastonia eatery.
Tony’s Ice Cream Shop burst into flames.
For three and a half months, no one knew who did it.
“The arrest came directly as a result of us getting this DNA hit back from CODIS,” said Rick Goodale with Gastonia Police.
Police say DNA evidence from the crime scene links Marvin McCaskill to the arson.
Police are not releasing a motive in the case.
Lydia Sturges-Robinson is McCaskill’s cousin. She showed up in court Wednesday to support her cousin.
Two years ago, Sturges-Robinson told Queen City News she was upset with Tony’s. She believed the business mistreated her because she was wearing a Black Lives Matter pin.
“I’m a protestor; that’s what I do,” said Sturges-Robinson back in 2020.
“There was an employee working inside Tony’s when he threw that flammable substance inside who could have been seriously injured or killed,” said Rick Goodale, spokesperson for the Gastonia Police Department.
McCaskill is charged with attempted first-degree murder and possession of a weapon of mass death and destruction, among other charges.
“In this particular case, things could have turned out a whole lot differently, and we might not have Tony’s standing today,” said Goodale.
Prosecutors also said Wednesday in court that McCaskill is a convicted felon, so that’s why his DNA was in the law enforcement database, which investigators say came up as a match with DNA collected at the crime scene.