D.C. Man Pleads Guilty in Arson Spree

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Maurice Dews, 27, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty Friday to five counts of arson and other charges for setting a series of fires in the District over the past 3 1/2 years.

Dews was arrested in July.

He pleaded guilty in D.C. Superior Court to four counts of aggravated assault while armed stemming from a fire he started in April 2011 in a vacant single-family home in Northeast that seriously injured four firefighters.

Dews admitted to starting a fire Jan. 4, 2008, at a multi-story building occupied by members of the elderly community in the 4600 block of Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue in Northeast. The residents had to be evacuated. Damage in that fire was about $15,000.

He also admitted to a fire in a storage garage in the 3500 block of Hertford Street Northwest on March 15, 2011, and a vacant single-family home in the 800 block of 48th Place Northeast on April 8, 2011.

In that case, Dews called 911 and knocked on the home next door to alert adults and several children about the fire.

That blaze caused $152,000 damage to the vacant home and $20,000 to the residence next door.


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Dews also admitted to fires June 14 and 23, 2011, on Grant Street Northeast and Hayes Street Northeast.

Dews will be sentenced in February 2012. The plea agreement calls for 25 years in jail

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