U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Northern District of Ohio
Northern District of Ohio
For Immediate Release
August 5, 2011
Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney
Contact: Mike Tobin, Director of Community Relations
Mansfield, Ohio Man Sentenced to 60 Years for Firebombing Mansfield City Hall and Courthouse, and Setting Fire to Local Bar
Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, today announced that Kevin D. Dye, age 41, of Mansfield, Ohio, was sentenced to serve 60 years in federal prison for firebombing the Mansfield, Ohio City Hall and Courthouse and setting a local Mansfield bar on fire. In addition to the prison term, Dye was sentenced to serve five years on federal supervised release after his release from prison and to pay more than $860,000 in restitution. The sentence, which included an enhancement under the Sentencing Guidelines for committing an act of terrorism, was imposed by United States District Court Judge Sara Lioi after a hearing at the federal courthouse in Cleveland.
Dye was convicted on May 27, 2011, after a week long jury trial of two counts of arson and one count of using a destructive device during and in relation to a crime of violence. The evidence at trial proved that Dye went to the Mansfield City Hall and Courthouse in the early morning hours of December 14, 2009, and broke out four windows with a sledgehammer. All of the windows were in the area of the building that houses the Mansfield Municipal Court. Dye then threw four homemade incendiary devices into the building. The devices consisted of plastic gallon milk jugs filled with gasoline, with a cloth wick soaked in gasoline inserted in a hole cut in the plastic lid of the milk jugs. The wicks were secured with duct tape. Dye lit the wicks on fire and threw the devices through one of the broken windows into the office of a Municipal Court bailiff. At the time, Dye had six cases pending against him in the Municipal Court, including two scheduled for trial only two days later. The devices caused a fire, setting off the building’s sprinkler system.
The fire, smoke, and water caused over $800,000 in damage to the building, and forced the Municipal Court to temporarily hold court at a local hotel.
Dye also was convicted of setting Belcher’s House of Rock, a bar in Mansfield, on fire on August 8, 2009. The evidence showed that Dye was a regular at Belcher’s House of Rock until he was involved in an altercation at the bar on August 1, 2009. Dye was arrested as a result, and the bar’s owner told him he was no longer welcome at the bar. Dye then yelled to the bar owner that he would see the bar closed down. The following weekend, at about 4:00 am on August 8, 2009, Dye climbed over a fence and onto the bar’s roof, where he disconnected a security camera. He then climbed down into the patio and gained access to the bar by throwing a large brick through a window. Inside the bar, Dye spread gasoline and oil throughout the bar and then lit it on fire before leaving back through the patio and over the fence. The fire at Belcher’s House of Rock caused approximately $40,000 in damage. In addition, the bar had to be closed for approximately a month, causing the owners to lose business and income.
At sentencing, Judge Lioi considered the circumstances of the offenses and Dye’s personal history, which includes a long criminal record with four prior felony convictions and numerous misdemeanor convictions. After considering these factors, Judge Lioi imposed a sentence of 15 years in prison for the arson of Belcher’s House of Rock; 15 years for the arson of the Mansfield City Hall and Courthouse; and 30 years for using a destructive device during and in relation to a crime of violence, all to be served consecutively to each other.
United States Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach, who tried the case with Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Shepherd commented,
Kevin Dye committed a series of brazen crimes against the Mansfield community by targeting a local business owner and the local city hall. Now, as a result of this long prison sentence, Kevin Dye will no longer endanger the citizens of Mansfield, and a message has been sent that these kinds of violent crimes and acts of terrorism against local institutions will not be tolerated.
Robert Browning, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives expressed his agency’s commitment to address violent crime and senseless acts which endanger lives within our communities:
We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our law enforcement and firefighting partners in investigating such matters.
The case was investigated by the joint efforts of the Mansfield Police Department, Mansfield Fire Department, Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The case was prosecuted by United States Attorney Steven Dettelbach and Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Shepherd.