Prison time given for man who set Metro SUV on fire

Happened during protests following death of George Floyd
A judge's gavel, with Scales of Justice in the background
Gavel Photo credit Michal Chodyra/Getty Images

Las Vegas, NV (AP) - The first of three men who have admitted setting fire to a Las Vegas police vehicle during a May 2020 racial injustice street protest was sentenced Wednesday to two years in federal prison by a judge who said he was giving him a “do-over” to reset his life.

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Devarian Jamal Haynes apologized to the court, his family and “the city of Las Vegas” before U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon also sentenced him to three years of post-release supervision, 100 hours of community service and about $4,250 in restitution following his guilty plea in March to a reduced charge of civil disorder.

Co-defendants Tyree Walker and Ricardo Densmore also took plea deals in March that avoided trial on conspiracy and arson charges. Each charge could have gotten them five to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

Densmore is due for sentencing in July, and Walker is due for sentencing in August. Each is expected to receive a sentence similar to Haynes.

“I take full accountability,” Haynes, 25, said as he appeared by videoconference from his parents’ home in Houston, where he has been living on pretrial release. He said he wanted to “get it over with and just get back to growing as a man and a father.”

The judge noted that Haynes violated pretrial restrictions and had a record of drunken driving, domestic violence and “getting drunk and assaulting people that cost (him) a good career in the Army.”

But Gordon said he was willing to let Haynes “start over and continue on a better path.” The judge allowed Haynes to self-surrender in 30 days for his prison sentence.

According to court documents, Densmore recorded and posted video on social media showing Haynes pouring a flammable liquid from a fuel can through a missing window of a marked police patrol SUV. It then shows Walker tossing a flaming object inside and Haynes dropping the gas can into the vehicle.