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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 14, 2021

District Woman Sentenced to Four Years in Federal Prison for Arson of Large Southeast Washington Apartment Building

Defendant Used Gasoline to Ignite Lobby of 43-Unit Building

            WASHINGTON –Laketia Hazelwood, 33, of Washington, D.C., has been sentenced to a four-year prison term for an arson that took place in June 2019 at Pennsylvania House, a 43-unit apartment building in Southeast Washington.

            The announcement was made by Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips, Charlie J. Patterson, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and John A. Donnelly, Sr., Chief of the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.

            Hazelwood pleaded guilty in May 2021 to one count of transporting an explosive with intent to damage property. She was sentenced on Sept. 2, 2021, by the Honorable Richard J. Leon in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Following her prison term, she will be placed on one year of supervised release.

            According to the government’s evidence, on June 17, 2019, at approximately 10 p.m., Hazelwood poured gasoline into a plastic trash can liner and carried it into the lobby of Pennsylvania House, in the 3900 block of Pennsylvania Avenue SE.  There, she tossed the gasoline-filled bag onto the lobby floor and threw a series of matches onto it, eventually igniting a large fire.  The flames consumed much of the lobby area and caused extensive damage before being extinguished by members of the D.C. Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

            Surveillance footage of Hazelwood’s actions was posted publicly at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtlv3AOqo3c&t=5s, resulting in several important tips from the public.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Phillips, Special Agent in Charge Patterson, Chief Contee, and Chief Donnelly commended the work of the MPD officers, ATF agents, and Fire Marshals who investigated the case. They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Kate Abrey and Teesha Tobias, and Supervisory Litigation Technology Specialist Leif Hickling. 

            Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys James Nelson and Andrew Floyd, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

 

Updated September 14, 2021