A Wilmington man was sentenced to more than five years in prison after pleading guilty to arson in New Hanover County Superior Court this week.
Timothy David Parent, 47, entered an Alford plea to charges of first-degree arson and felony violation of a domestic violence protective order for two separate offenses in 2014, according to a news release from District Attorney Ben David. An Alford plea is when the defendant admits no guilt, but acknowledges there is sufficient evidence from the prosecution for a judge or jury to reach that conclusion.
Parent was charged with arson in connection with a June 2014 fire a Wilmington apartment complex where a woman and child lived, David said. The woman and child were not home at the time of the fire, but several other residents were in their units when the fire was set.
Parent reportedly went to the apartment complex wearing a disguise to make it more difficult to identify him, David said. He asked a stranger if they knew where the woman and young child were living, saying he did not know the apartment number.
When the person was not able to provide an apartment number, Parent later returned to the building and reportedly set a fire that caused damage to the structure.
“Officers investigating the fire found a plastic container appearing to have gasoline in it. Tests later revealed the defendant’s fingerprint on the container,” David said.
Parent was arrested in connection the case on Nov. 10, 2014. At the time of the offense, Parent was on probation for a conviction on multiple stalking charges.
“As part of his probation he was ordered to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet. While wearing the bracelet the defendant was confirmed to have been in the vicinity of the protected victim’s place of employment,” David said. “The continued stalking of the victim coupled with the court order stating that he was not to have any further contact with the named victim resulted in the felony conviction and active prison sentence today.”