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Courts / Law

Tampa Man Guilty Of Setting Store On Fire During Unrest

building burns while a crowd gathers in front of it
Twitter/Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
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A Champs Sports store burns in Tampa on May 31, 2020, following a protest over the death of George Floyd. Terrance Lee Hester Jr., 20, pleaded guilty in Tampa federal court to starting the fire.

Officials say surveillance video showed the man throwing a flaming piece of cloth into a Champs Sports store in Tampa last May.

A Tampa man has been convicted of setting fire to a sporting goods store and shopping center in the University area during unrest that followed protests over the death of George Floyd last year.

Court records show 20-year-old Terrance Lee Hester Jr. pleaded guilty Tuesday in Tampa federal court to damaging or destroying by fire a building used in interstate commerce.

He faces between five and 20 years in prison.

Officials say surveillance video showed Hester throwing a flaming piece of cloth through a broken window of a Champs Sports store at 2301 East Fowler Avenue on May 31, 2020.

The damage to the store and other businesses in the plaza was estimated at $1.25 million.

A sentencing date has not yet been set.

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