‘Bungled’ restaurant arson gets ex-employee 5 year sentence
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A former restaurant employee has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for starting fires inside the eatery in the historic heart of Georgia’s oldest city.
A U.S. District Court judge in Savannah sentenced 31-year-old Chase Anthony Davis more than two months after a jury convicted him of arson after a three-day trial in October.
Prosecutors say Davis broke into the Gryphon Tea Room in downtown Savannah on May 8 and set six fires in the dining room. No one was injured and damage caused by the fires has since been repaired. The restaurant is owned by the Savannah College of Art and Design.
The tea room is located in an early 20th century building that once housed an apothecary. U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine of Georgia’s Southern District called Davis’s crime a “bungled arson” that threatened “physical and cultural damage” to Savannah’s prized downtown historic district.