Bradenton arsonist sentenced to five years for Publix fires

Robert Lovett
Robert Lovett(Manatee County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 11:45 AM EST
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TAMPA, Fla. (WWSB) - A Bradenton man convicted of setting fires inside a Publix supermarket on three consecutive days in 2020 has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Robert Timon Lovett, 50, received the arson sentence Thursday for the fires set over the Christmas holiday, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Tampa.

Lovett had pleaded guilty in September to starting a fire Dec. 25, 26, and 27, 2020 at the supermarket. According to court documents, Lovett actually entered the store Dec. 26 and 27 to purchased the lighter fluid he used to start the fires, both of which he set while the store was open for business. The fire he set Dec. 26 caused significant heat damage to the back of the store.

Lovett was arrested Dec. 28, 2020, when he returned to the same Publix and again purchased lighter fluid. Lovett admitted to starting the fires on each of the three preceding days, prosecutors said.

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