Arsonist receives prison term
New Bern, North Carolina – District Attorney Scott Thomas announced that, in Craven Superior Court yesterday, ELIJAH LOU PARENTE, 25, of New Bern, was convicted upon his guilty plea to two counts of arson, and was sentenced to prison. Superior Court Judge Ben Alford presided over this term of court, and the cases were prosecuted in court by Assistant District Attorneys Robert McAfee and Terry Light.
In September, 2015, Parente intentionally set a fire inside an apartment on Red Robin Lane in New Bern, and left the scene. Although the apartment itself was not occupied at the time, there were people in the surrounding apartments, who were safely evacuated. The damage to the apartments was extensive, requiring lengthy reconstruction.
While that case was under investigation, Parente again intentionally set a fire in an apartment in Craven Terrace housing project in New Bern in December, 2015. The apartment was unoccupied, but adjoining apartments were occupied. The damage in that instance was not as extensive, and no one was hurt.
Parente pled guilty to two counts of arson, and Judge Alford sentenced him to 60 to 84 months in prison (5 to 7 years). The judge also ordered a civil judgment against Parente for more than $ 16,000 in uninsured losses. He ordered that Parente undergo a mental health evaluation and treatment while serving his prison sentence. Once released, Parente will be subject to a term of post-release supervision, similar to probation, where his behavior will be monitored by a probation officer, including the condition that he remain in mental health treatment.
The cases were investigated by the New Bern Police Department.