BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – The Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office has announced that two men have been sentenced in connection to setting fires in a Buncombe County community in 2021.
Officials said that Blake Cameron Williams, 24, and Anthony DeWayne Boyd, 21, both from West Buncombe County pleaded guilty on May 18th, to setting fires to multiple historic barns and farm structures in the Sandy Mush and Leicester communities.
Both Williams and Boyd plead guilty to five counts of burning certain buildings, five counts of felony conspiracy to commit arsons, and six counts of burning personal property. Judge Steven Warren accepted their guilty pleas and both were sentenced to 44 to 82 months in prison and must pay $50,000 in restitution. They will also remain on supervised probation for at least two years after they’re released.
According to officials, on November 3, 2021, various fire departments along with the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to multiple structure fires throughout the Sandy Mush, Newfound, Sugar Creek, and Leicester communities. At each site, officials found barns or hay sheds engulfed in flames.
Officials said that all of the sites were functional and supported family farms and livelihoods. Detectives from the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office worked with the State Beauru of Investigation and the fire departments involved and eventually identified three suspects. All three were taken into custody on November 15, 2021. Boyd and Williams later admitted that they were involved with the fire.
The case for the third co-defendant, Ashley Debra Neal, 28, is still pending.