Man admits to setting ex's house on fire

Harold Gibson Courtesy: Columbus Police Dept.
Harold Gibson Courtesy: Columbus Police Dept.

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  A local man has admitted that he set his ex-wife's Columbus home on fire during their bitter divorce.

Harold Gibson, 26, pleaded guilty to arson Wednesday in Muscogee County Superior Court just as his trial was about to be turned over to the jury for deliberations.

Gibson broke a rear window at his ex's house on Gardenia Street off of Macon Road last June, poured gasoline inside and set the home on fire.

His former wife was not home at the time but two neighbors spotted him there and he also had flash burns on his face from setting the blaze.

Investigators say Gibson was upset over his divorce and the fact that his ex released private secrets about him to friends. She also used his upgrade to buy a new cell phone, billing it to his account.

He was sentenced to 20 years, three of which he'll spend in prison and the remainder on probation. He must also pay $48,000 in restitution.

Fire officials say the fire Gibson set burned his ex's living room and left smoke damage to the entire home, leaving $35,000 worth of damage.

Copyright 2011 WTVM. All rights reserved.