Ridgeland man convicted of setting fire to girlfriend's apartment

VARNVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) - A 32-year-old Ridgeland man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for setting a Varnville apartment building on fire after a fight with his girlfriend.

On Wednesday, Andre Green was found guilty of second-degree burglary, third-degree arson, three counts of malicious injury to personal property and one count of malicious injury to real property for the 2013 arson of Varnville Area Housing Apartments.

Last August, Green was being driven back home to Ridgeland by his girlfriend when the two got into an argument. The argument escalated to the point Green's girlfriend left him on the side of the road and reported him to the police department in Ridgeland.

While she spoke with officers, Green made it home and asked a friend to drive him back to his girlfriend's apartment. On the way there, he filled up a jug with gas.

Green had his friend wait for him nearby while he doused his girlfriend's apartment with gasoline and set the fire. Only after Green and his friend were on their way home did Green tell him what he had done.

The fire caused nearly $400,000 in damage.

"I'm proud of all the witnesses in this case for coming through and assisting the state in bringing justice," said assistant solicitor Kelvin Wright, who prosecuted the case. "Law enforcement did a great job investigating this case. This is what happens when everyone works together."

The apartments are owned by the Varnville Housing Authority, which has since rebuilt the building and is in the process of reopening it.