MURDER USA Kevin Bethard sentenced to 20 years in prison for two incidents of arson and attempted murder

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Maryland State Fire Marshal

MURDER USA Kevin Bethard sentenced to 20 years in prison for two incidents of arson and attempted murder

SALISBURY, MD (January 4, 2017) Deputy State Fire Marshals report that the prosecution concluded for two separate arson investigations with the conviction and sentencing of Kevin Leonard Scott Bethard, 24, of 502 Cartwright Ave., Fruitland, Md.

Kevin Leonard Scott Bethard 24 of Fruitland convicted of two arson fires in Wicomico County Md 010417

Bethard was originally charged on April 17, 2016, with: (2) counts 1st Degree Arson, (2) counts 2nd Degree Arson, (2) counts 2nd Degree Malicious Burning, (2) counts 3rd Degree Burglary, (2) counts Home Invasion, (1) count Attempted 1st Degree murder, (1) count Attempted 2nd Degree Murder, and (1) count Animal Cruelty.

The first arson fire occurred at approximately 3:20 a.m. on March 25, 2016, at an occupied home located in the 28000 Block of White Pond Drive in Salisbury.  Investigators determined Bethard entered the home and set multiple fires inside the dwelling.  The occupant was awakened by working smoke alarms and escaped the home without injury.  Nearly 30 firefighters responded to the scene and quickly brought the fire under control.  Damage to the home and contents was estimated at $250,000.  A pet cat died as result of the fire.

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The second arson fire occurred at approximately 5:10 a.m. on March 25, 2016, at a 14′ x 70′ wood framed mobile home located in the 7000 Block of Madeline Circle in Parsonsburg.  The investigation revealed Bethard also entered this unoccupied residence and set a fire inside the dwelling.  Nearly 20 firefighters quickly contained the blaze and limited the damage to the structure and contents to $13,000.

He has been sentenced in Wicomico County Circuit Court to life in prison with all but 10 years suspended on the Attempted 1st Degree Murder charge and 5 years consecutive for each of the 1st Degree Arson charges, having a total sentence to serve 20 years.

Bethard entered a guilty plea to Attempted 1st Degree Murder and two counts of 1st Degree Arson. He has been sentenced in Wicomico County Circuit Court to life in prison with all but 10 years suspended on the Attempted 1st Degree Murder charge and 5 years consecutive for each of the 1st Degree Arson charges, having a total sentence to serve 20 years.

The plea deal was arranged by the public defender and the States Attorney of Wicomico County, Md.

Bethard had not run up any serious charges prior to the two arson convictions. His run-ins with the law had been for minor traffic charges and drug arrests.

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