Defendant Antonio Wade set fire to apartment stairway; the residence was occupied by his acquaintance and a child

A 29-year-old man who in August 2013 deliberately set fire to clothing located beneath the entrance of a Charleston apartment where his acquaintance and a child resided at the time pleaded guilty to a federal arson charge, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced.  Antonio LeJune Wade, of Beckley, pleaded guilty today in front of United States District Court Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. in Charleston.  Wade was charged in a one-count indictment in October. 

On August 25, 2013, Wade intentionally set fire to clothing that he placed beneath a wooden staircase, causing the steps connected to a 6th Avenue apartment in Charleston to catch fire.  The staircase served as the sole entrance and exit to the residence.  Wade told police that he knew the apartment was occupied by his acquaintance and a toddler at the time he set the blaze. 

Members from the Charleston Police Department and the Charleston Fire Department responded to the scene and contained the fire.  The individuals who were inside of the apartment at the time were uninjured.  

Wade faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison when he is sentenced on April 2, 2014. 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Charleston Police Department conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Blaire Malkin is in charge of the prosecution. 

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