DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Virginia

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Tracy Doherty-McCormick
, United States Attorney
Contact: Joshua Stueve

Man Sentenced for Throwing Molotov Cocktails at Apartment Building

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An Alexandria man was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for arson after throwing Molotov cocktails and setting fire to an apartment building in Alexandria in June 2016.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Josepha Kasai, 24, smashed a Molotov cocktail at the door of a third floor apartment unit, setting fire to the doorway and trapping nine individuals on the third floor. Kasai then went outside and threw another Molotov cocktail at the third floor apartment unit, breaking through the bedroom window. The entire building was evacuated due to the fire. A victim inside the third floor apartment jumped from his balcony and Kasai chased the victim with what appeared to be a knife. After Kasai’s arrest, he informed law enforcement he intended to kill the victim who jumped from the balcony and claimed the victim had previously stolen his iPhone.

Kasai was found guilty by U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga after a bench trial on Oct. 25, 2017.

Tracy Doherty-McCormick, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Thomas L. Chittum, III, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division, Robert C. Dubé, Chief of Alexandria Fire Department, and Michael L. Brown, Chief of Alexandria Police Department, made the announcement after sentencing by Judge Trenga. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maureen C. Cain and Nicholas U. Murphy II prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:16-cr-268.

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Field Division: Washington Field Division