ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina landscaper who burned down a neighbor’s home after threatening him for money has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
The Herald reports that Jacob Lee Cabasal, 43, pleaded guilty in York County court to two counts of second-degree arson and harassment before South Carolina Circuit Judge Dan Hall handed down the sentence.
Cabasal had threatened Herman Pringle and another neighbor with demands they hire him at exorbitant rates to do landscaping and became irate when they refused, 16th Circuit Senior Assistant Solicitor Matthew Hogge said in court.
Home security video played in court showed Cabasal pouring gasoline on the doors of Pringle's home, according to the newspaper. The fire caused an explosion, and another house was damaged, Hogge said. No one was hurt.
Cabasal fled York County after the fires but taunted Fort Mill police on social media, changing his Facebook profile to a photo from the film, “Catch Me if You Can,” Hogge said. A week later, he turned himself in at a Michigan hospital.
Cabasal did not speak in court other than to plead guilty and to say he was on medication after a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.