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Second defendant sentenced for setting fire to Alabama auto sales business

Blaze set by two former employees destroys several buildings and causes significant damage to additional property including auto parts and vehicles

Montgomery, Ala.—United States Attorney Sandra J. Stewart announced on Tuesday that a federal judge sentenced 33-year-old Dezarae Lashay Wiggins, a resident of Brundidge, Ala., to 60 months in prison for arson of a Coffee County auto sales business. Federal prisoners are not eligible for parole. 

According to her plea agreement and other court records, during the early morning hours of Jan. 12, 2021, numerous area fire departments responded to a large fire at Car City in Brundidge. Fire fighters eventually extinguished the fire, but only after the destruction of several buildings and significant damage to additional property, including vehicles, office equipment, and auto parts.

Multiple agencies conducted an investigation and determined the cause of the fire to be arson. Surveillance video reviewed by investigators showed that Wiggins, along with former employee of the car lot, Charles Edward Jones, 48, from Clio, Ala., started the fire. 

Previously, Wiggins and Jones pleaded guilty to arson in federal court. On June 26, 2023, a judge sentenced Jones to 162 months in prison. Wiggins’ sentencing occurred on September 7, 2023. In the coming months, a federal judge will conduct a hearing to determine restitution for the victim of the fire.

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