One of the four people charged with a 2006 arson that burned a Newton County family's home pled guilty on Thursday and was sentenced to five years imprisonment.
Leon Dwayne McKenzie, 20, entered a plea of guilty in Newton County Superior Court to two counts of first degree arson, as well as counts of reckless conduct, criminal trespass without permission and criminal damage.
He was sentenced by Judge Eugene Benton to 20 years, five to be served in confinement, with a $2,000 fine, required to share payment of $129,242 in restitution to the victims with his three co-defendants, and ordered to have no contact with the victims and no contact with the co-defendants.
McKenzie, along with Edward Anthony Carroll, 26, Raychelle Alaine King, 20, and Keri Marie Bradford, 19, was arrested in connection with an arson that took place in the early morning hours of October 9, 2006.
The fire at the Pickett Road home started around 2 a.m. Emergency personnel found the south end of the house with flames shooting through the roof and two cars completely burned.
Newton County Deputy Fire Chief Tim Smith, who was then Newton County Fire Marshall, told the News at the time that the fire appeared to have started in one of the two burned cars, a Jeep Cherokee, which reportedly had a door left open, before spreading to the house, and appeared to have been deliberately set.
The five family members who lived in the house were able to get out in time and no one was hurt.
Carroll pled guilty in July 2007 and was similarly sentenced to 20 years, five in confinement, and ordered to share payment of the $129,242 restitution with his co-defendants. He is currently serving time in Rogers State Prison, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections Web site.
King and Bradford have a trial scheduled for June 9 in Newton County Superior Court.