A former Maryland police chief was sentenced to multiple life sentences for carrying out arson attacks on property belonging to people that he felt had slighted him.
David Crawford, 71, was sentenced to eight life sentences plus 75 years after being found guilty us using gasoline to set fire to people’s cars, homes and garages.
Prosecutors say that the former police chief of Laurel, who was arrested in March 2021, set the fires in six counties over the span of a decade.
He was found guilty in March of eight counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of arson and a count of malicious burning. He has always denied the claims against him.
Howard County State’s Attorney Richard Gibson welcomed the sentence handed down to Crawford, and said that because of his age, he was “not likely to breathe free air again,” reported CBS News Baltimore.
“As opposed to protecting and serving and living a life of honour and respect, keeping our community safe, he chose to inflict harm, he chose violence, he chose fear,” Mr Gibson said.
“I think there is true evil in the world and I think this is an example of that.”
Crawford’s defence lawyer called the sentencing a “sad and tragic ending” for his client.
Investigators say they found a coded “target list” on Crawford’s cell phone and used mobile phone data, relationships and computer searches to tie him to the crimes.
The investigation revealed that all of the structures and vehicles that were deliberately set on fire had a link to a victim with whom Crawford or his wife had disagreements.
All of the blazes were set at around 3am when the victims were sleeping inside their homes.
The court was told that victims included three former law enforcement officials, two relatives, his stepson, a former city official, a neighbour and two of his former doctors.