Tampa man guilty of setting Champs store on fire during unrest

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Police SWAT officers guard firefighters as they respond to the Champs Sports store, Sunday, May 31, 2020 in Tampa. A Florida man was convicted Tuesday, March 30, 2021 of setting fire to the sporting goods store and shopping center during unrest that followed protests over the death of George Floyd last year. Terrance Lee Hester Jr., 20, pleaded guilty in Tampa federal court to damaging or destroying by fire a building used in interstate commerce, according to court records. (Luis Santana/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A man has been convicted of setting fire to a sporting goods store and shopping center in Tampa 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.

[ Pinelllas County Sheriff’s Office ]

He faces between five and 20 years in prison. Officials say surveillance video shows Hester throwing a flaming piece of cloth into a Champs Sports store through a broken window last May.

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

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