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N.J. man sentenced to 92 months in Holly Hill arson

Staff Report //July 31, 2020//

N.J. man sentenced to 92 months in Holly Hill arson

Staff Report //July 31, 2020//

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A New Jersey man has been sentenced to 92 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to arson in a fire that destroyed three businesses in downtown Holly Hill.

Marvin Leroy Smith-Capers Jr., 38, of Newark, N.J., was also ordered to pay more than $700,000 in restitution to the owners of Joy’s Touch of Class, Goldstein’s and Super 10, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Peter McCoy Jr.’s office.

Evidence presented in court showed that just after midnight on Jan. 8, Smith-Capers set fire to Joy’s Touch of Class after spending two hours stealing merchandise from the store. The flames spread to two adjacent businesses.  

Holly Hill police officers began following a white GMC Yukon driven by Smith-Capers when it recklessly pulled onto a road they were traveling in the opposite direction, according to the release. Smith-Capers ultimately lost control, and at the scene of the overturned vehicle, officers found Smith-Capers ejected from the Yukon and unconscious, with stolen merchandise scattered around him.

Smith-Capers was also tracked to the arson scene through the ankle monitor he was wearing as part of a previous probationary sentence. GPS data tracked Smith-Capers as loaded his vehicle with stolen merchandise.

Smith-Capers pleaded guilty in January.

U.S. District Court Judge Mary Geiger Lewis presided over the sentencing hearing. Assistant U.S. Attorney Winston David Holliday Jr. of the Columbia office presented the case, which was investigated by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Holly Hill police and fire Departments, the Orangeburg County Fire District, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.