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Press Release

Richmond County Man Sentenced to Over 12 Years for Arson

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of North Carolina

GREENSBORO, N.C. - A Richmond County resident was sentenced on May 18, 2023, in federal court in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for maliciously damaging and destroying by means of fire or an explosive a building used in interstate or foreign commerce, specifically rental property located at 199 Dixieland Drive, Rockingham, North Carolina, announced United States Attorney Sandra J. Hairston of the Middle District of North Carolina. COREY LAMONT CARTER, age 45, was convicted after his guilty plea on October 3, 2022.

On January 24, 2022, at approximately 1:37 p.m., Richmond County Deputy Sheriffs responded to a reported structure fire at 199 Dixieland Drive in Rockingham. Upon arrival the building (a residence) was fully engulfed in flames. The home’s occupant told deputies that her boyfriend, COREY LAMONT CARTER, had set the residence on fire. The occupant said that she and her son made it out of the home safely. The occupant told deputies that she and CARTER had an argument and she walked outside to call police. She then noted, after turning back towards the residence, that it was on fire. CARTER then fled the scene.

A short time later a resident of the Maner Road section of Rockingham reported to deputies that she saw a man matching the description of CARTER running north on U.S. 1 carrying a gas can. The caller told deputies that he then ran to an abandoned two-story white house near the wood line. As deputies approached the front door to the home, the door slowly opened and CARTER walked out of the home with his hands up. Deputies detained CARTER and confirmed his identity. As he was being escorted to a patrol vehicle CARTER spontaneously stated, “I know what ya’ll looking for, the gas can it’s in the house.” CARTER was then placed under arrest. Incident to arrest deputies located two books of matches and a lighter in CARTER’s left front pocket. Deputies also recovered the gas can from inside the abandoned home. In a post-Miranda statement, CARTER admitted to having set the fire at 199 Dixieland Drive. The residence was being used as rental property at the time of the fire with a tenant living in the home, and the fire resulted in a complete loss, including contents.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation processed the fire scene. After careful consideration of the evidence at the scene and information provided by witnesses, agents formed the opinion that this fire was ignited when a person, presumably CARTER, poured an unknown ignitable liquid on the floor in the bedroom located at the end of the hallway and up the hallway to the kitchen, and then introduced an open flame through a lighter, match, or similar device which ignited the vapors. The fire then spread through the available combustibles inside the house. The fire was classified as incendiary in nature.

Chief United States District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder sentenced CARTER to 151 months in federal prison.  In addition to the prison time, CARTER was ordered to serve a three-year term of supervised release, pay restitution of $11,500, and to pay a special assessment of $100.00.

The case was investigated by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Clifton T. Barrett.


Updated May 18, 2023