Columbia, South Carolina —- United States Attorney Peter M. McCoy, Jr., announced today that Marvin Leroy Smith-Capers, Jr., age 38, of Newark, New Jersey, was sentenced to 92 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to arson. He was also ordered to pay over $700,000 in restitution to the victims: Joy’s Touch of Class, Goldstein’s, and the Super 10. United States District Court Judge Mary Geiger Lewis presided over the hearing.
According to evidence presented to the court, on January 8, 2018, just after midnight, Smith-Capers set fire to Joy’s Touch of Class in downtown Holly Hill after spending much of the previous two hours stealing merchandise from the store. The flames spread to two adjacent businesses, Goldstein’s and the Super 10, causing damage to all three in excess of $700,000.
Holly Hill police officers first noticed suspicious activity when the white GMC Yukon driven by Smith-Capers recklessly pulled into the road opposite their direction of travel. They followed the Yukon, which then accelerated down Railroad Street, ultimately losing control. At the accident scene, officers discovered the overturned Yukon, an ejected and unresponsive Smith-Capers, and merchandise scattered about. This merchandise was traced back to Joy’s.
Smith-Capers was also linked to the scene of the fire through the ankle monitor he was wearing as part of a previous probationary sentence. GPS data tracked Smith-Capers as he moved back and forth between the store and his vehicle as he loaded the Yukon with stolen merchandise.
The United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) as well as the Holly Hill Police and Fire Departments, the Orangeburg County Fire District, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Winston David Holliday, Jr., of the Columbia office prosecuted the case.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.