U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Oregon
District of Oregon
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Karin J. Immergut, United States Attorney
Contact: Gerri Badden
Arsonist Sentenced to 11 Years and 6 Months for Retailiating Against a Federal Witness
Eugene, Ore. — Cory Joe Gwyn, 33, appeared before United States District Court Judge Ann Aiken, and was sentenced to 11 years and 6 months imprisonment for retaliating against a federal witness by setting fire to his home.
Gwyn will serve 10 years of his federal sentence after he completes serving a sentence for attempted murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Gwyn retaliated against a witness who informed a federal agent and city detective that he had given Gwyn a rifle stolen by an armed career criminal during a residential burglary in Springfield, Oregon. The armed career criminal, Martin Elery Beal, was sentenced on March 5, 2008, by United States District Court Judge Michael Hogan to 15 years and 8 months imprisonment.
After the witness appeared before a federal grand jury in December 2006, Gwyn told him that he would
burn everything down that you got, and
ruin (his) life. On July 25, 2007, while the witness was in jail, Gwyn set fire to his home and later bragged to others that he had gotten back at the witness. The arson caused $10,000 worth of damage.
On September 21, 2007, while under the influence of methamphetamine Gwyn shot a man in the face at close range and was convicted of attempted murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm on November 5, 2007. Gwyn was charged with retaliating against a federal witness and using fire to commit a federal felony on September 17, 2009, and pled guilty to those charges on November 3, 2010.
Gwyn had prior convictions for illegal drug manufacturing and possession, identification theft and forgery, assaulting and recklessly endangering others, and felonious attempts to elude police.
Gwyn was sentenced to the mandatory 10-year prison term for using fire to commit a federal felony and a 20-month prison term for retaliating against the witness. He will also be required to pay $10,000 in restitution.
Fire cause experts from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the Oregon State Police conducted the investigation and were substantially assisted by detectives from the Springfield Police Department.
For further information, contact Assistant United States Attorney Frank Papagni at (541) 465-6771.