Alexandria man convicted of apartment complex arson

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By Alexa Epitropoulos | [email protected]

An Alexandria man was convicted on Oct. 25 of setting an apartment building on fire by throwing Molotov cocktails at it, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney from the Eastern District of Virginia.

Josepha Kasai, 23, smashed a Molotov cocktail at the door of a third floor apartment unit, which set fire to the doorway and trapped nine individuals on the third floor, according to court records and evidence presented at a bench trial. Kasai proceeded to throw another Molotov cocktail at a third floor apartment unit, which broke through the bedroom window. The building was evacuated due to the fire. Evidence also showed a victim inside the third floor apartment jumped from his balcony and Kasai chased him with what appeared to be a knife.

Kasai told law enforcement that he intended to kill the victim who jumped from the balcony because he had previously stolen his iPhone.

Kasai was convicted of arson and possession of an unregistered destructive device and faces a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of 30 years in prison when sentenced on Feb. 9 of next year.