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Tennessee man pleads guilty to arson at Metro Courthouse

June 29, 2021 GMT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee man pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal arson charges in connection with damage to the Metro Courthouse that followed protests last year in Nashville.

Wesley Somers, 26, of Hendersonville, entered his plea in U.S. District Court and faces five to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 1, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Several people gathered at Nashville City Hall, also known as Metro Courthouse, on May 30, 2020, after protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The gathering at the courthouse resulted in people smashing windows and spraying graffiti, and a fire or fires were set inside the courthouse, the prosecutor’s office said in a news release.

Somers was shown in video clips and photos from the event, and Nashville police identified him after receiving tips from citizens, the prosecutor’s office said.