The Columbia man who assaulted his wife then set fire to his Harper's Choice apartment in April was sentenced at Howard County Circuit Court to 18 months in jail and ordered to pay $430,000 to insurers and others earlier this week.
Police were called to the apartment of Alejandro Adolfo Rodriguez, 25, on April 5 after his wife reported he hit her and locked her out of their apartment. When police arrived they found the apartment on fire and Rodriguez shouting obscenities at them from a bedroom window.
When firefighters evacuated the building, Rodriguez managed to escape, according to court documents, but police arrested him the next day as he walked on Eliots Oak Road.
Fire investigators later determined the two-alarm fire was deliberately set at two locations inside the apartment.
In August, Rodriguez, of the 5400 block of Harpers Farm Road, pleaded guilty to first-degree arson and second-degree assault.
At the hearing on Tuesday, one of Rodriguez's neighbors told the court her 6-year-old daughter lost all her toys and clothes in the fire. Rodriguez apologized to her saying, "I'm not the type of person to harm somebody," according to Wayne Kirwan, spokesperson for the Howard County state's attorney's office.
Judge Lenore Gelfman said Rodriguez's actions were "really very disturbing" and of "a callous nature", according to Kirwan.
Gelfman also placed Rodriguez on five years of probation upon his release, in addition to the prison sentence.