Macon man banished from Bibb County after pleading guilty to arson

A Macon man was sentenced to prison Monday after he pleaded guilty to setting fire to a New Clinton Road duplex in 2017.

Rodney Kevin Curry pleaded guilty to arson and was sentenced to 10 years, with the first four years to be served in prison. The judge also banished Curry from Bibb County.

According to prosecutor Tommy Williams, Curry and a man living at the duplex argued on Oct. 7, 2017. Neighbors broke up the argument. Curry was heard telling the duplex resident, “You’d better not go to sleep or I’ll burn your house down.”

About an hour later, the duplex resident heard glass breaking and a whooshing sound associated with gasoline being set on fire.

A witness from the other side of the duplex told authorities she saw Curry walking away holding a gas can.

No one was injured in the fire, but half the duplex was left uninhabitable.

An investigator retrieved surveillance video from a nearby convenience store that shows Curry buying beer and leaving with a gas can. The fire was reported soon after the recording.

Speaking after the hearing, Bibb County District Attorney David Cooke said, “Mr. Curry wasn’t just playing with fire. He was gambling with the lives of every single person in the building. I hope he spends the next several years thankful that no one was hurt. If someone had died, he would have been facing a life sentence.”

In Case You Didn’t Know: Judges in Georgia are allowed to use banishment as part of their sentencing. They can banish a defendant from a county or banish them to a specific county, but they cannot banish a defendant from the state.

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