Homeless Man Sentenced 40 Years In Prison For Burning Friends
A 54-year-old Cobb County man was sentenced to 40 years in prison Friday for throwing gasoline on his best friend and ex-girlfriend and setting them on fire at a homeless camp.
Melvin George Hood was convicted of aggravated battery and aggravated assault late Thursday. A Cobb County jury took just 20 minutes to convict Hood, according to Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds.
Hood was among a group of homeless people who lived in a camp off Noonday Church Road when, about 5:30 a.m. last August 21, he got mad at his best friend, Raymond Mathews, and his former girlfriend, Wanda Kight. He then poured gasoline directly on Mathews and onto Kight’s tent, lighting both on fire, Reynolds said.
The victims testified during the trial about the fire that almost ended their lives, Reynolds said. Mathews spent nearly two months in a medically induced coma. Kight was trapped inside the tent and had to be rescued by another camper.
“The defendant almost killed these two people, for no reason. Because he was drunk and he was mad. It is inexcusable,” Assistant District Attorney Molly Gillis told jurors.
Who knew homeless people could be so cruel?
Hood contended he was working on a generator at the time and that it blew up, causing the fire. The generator – undamaged — was found nearly 50 yards from the fire, according to a statement from Reynolds. The area where the tent had been was obliterated. Eyewitnesses also testified that the fire occurred when Hood went near the tent after retrieving a can of gasoline.
On Friday, Cobb Superior Court Judge C. LaTain Kell sentenced Hood to 40 years, with 30 years to serve in custody. He was sentenced as a recidivist, meaning he is not eligible for parole, according to Reynolds.
But Judge Kell first thanked the victims, Mathews and Kight, for their courage and dignity.
“It sounds like, despite your circumstances, you had made a decent life for yourselves, and I admire you for that,” Judge Kell said. “Life was hard for you already, and it’s harder now. … You did not deserve this.”
Ironcially, this guy is gonna burn for a long time for this isht.
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