Bradenton man gets 5 years for setting fires behind Publix

Manatee County

Source: Manatee County Sheriff’s Office

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A Bradenton man has been sentenced to five years in prison for setting fires behind the same Tampa Bay-area Publix store three days in a row starting on Christmas last year.

Court records show that 50-year-old Robert Timon Lovett was sentenced Monday in Tampa federal court. He pleaded guilty to arson in September.

According to court documents, Lovett started fires behind a Publix grocery store in Parrish on Dec. 25, 26 and 27, 2020.

Law enforcement officers apprehended Lovett on Dec. 28 when he returned to the same store.

Defense attorney Kathleen Sweeney said in a sentencing memo that Lovett had suffered from lifelong drug abuse and depression. Sweeney said Lovett lost his 10-year-old son to a bacterial infection in 2019, prompting a downward spiral.

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