Man who set fire to CVS during Baltimore riots pleads guilty


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BALTIMORE — The man accused of setting fire to a CVS Pharmacy in Baltimore during riots there in April pleaded guilty Wednesday to rioting, authorities said.

If a court accepts his plea, Raymon Carter, 24, will be sentenced to four years in prison.

He will also be required to pay restitution, the amount of which will be determined at sentencing, which is scheduled for November, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland.

Riots broke out in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray who suffered a fatal spinal cord injury while in police custody.

The death of the young African-American man sparked widespread protests and reignited long-simmering tensions between the police and residents.

The burning of the CVS was one of the most visual and memorable moments from the riots.

Carter was identified by citizens after authorities released photographs from surveillance video and announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to his identification and conviction. He was arrested after a foot chase.

“The most important aspects of this case are that Raymon Carter will be punished for participating in the riot and that ordinary citizens concerned about their neighborhood helped to catch him,” U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement from his office.

“Federal law prohibits people from traveling across a state line or using a telephone to participate in a civil disturbance that involves acts of violence, and this case sends a message that we intend to use it. Anyone who considers participating in a riot should know that police, prosecutors and citizens will track them down and send them to prison.”

Carter’s attorney, public defender Premal Dharia, could not immediately be reached for comment on the case.

But she reportedly sent an email to The Baltimore Sun: “He intends to spend this period of incarceration reflecting on his actions, and on ways to return to this community as an upstanding member,” Dharia wrote about her client. “This was an uncharacteristic error in judgment on a day in which many in the city became carried away by their frustration and caused damage to the very communities in which they live.”

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