A 23-year-old man has been handed a 15-month sentence after pleading guilty to several charges related to a shocking arson spree along Whyte Avenue last spring.
Malice Sutton received his sentence Wednesday afternoon in an Edmonton courtroom.
“I would like to apologize to the city of Edmonton as a whole,” Sutton said in court Wednesday.
In August, Sutton pleaded guilty to arson with disregard for human life, arson causing property damage, assault with a weapon and using an explosive with intent to do bodily harm.
The charges came after several vehicles were set on fire in Old Strathcona the evening of Friday, April 12.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Sutton was depressed and drunk in April 2019 when he bought gasoline and a butane lighter, and threw a Molotov cocktail at a passing vehicle near Whyte Avenue.
He was then caught on camera dousing parked cars with gas and lighting them on fire, doing tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
In total, police said 13 vehicles were set on fire along 104 Street and 82 Avenue. No injuries were reported.
Sutton was eventually taken down by a group of citizens, inside a Starbucks on the corner of Whyte Ave and Calgary Trail.
The ordeal made two men — dubbed “Hawaiian Shirt Guy” and “2×4 Guy” — local celebrities for their actions.
Sutton has been in custody ever since. Court heard Sutton had an “extremely tragic childhood.” Both of his parents spent time behind bars — his father did time for murder.
Sutton suffered physical and sexual abuse, and was homeless and unemployed at the time of his offences — but he had no prior criminal record. On the night he committed his crimes, Sutton wanted “suicide by cop,” his lawyer said.
The Crown in the case had asked for a sentence between 12 and 18 months, followed by three years’ probation. The defence asked for a 12-month sentence, followed by three years’ probation.
With credit for time served, Sutton has about three and a half months left to spend behind bars.
With files from Sarah Ryan, Global News.