Man Who Blamed Hate Crime for Home Blaze That Killed 2 Indicted on Felony Arson Charge

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A man who claimed to be the victim of a hate crime when a June 10 fire burned down his rental home in Huntsville, Texas, now stands accused of setting the fire himself.

The fire killed two people, including a relative of the suspect, and injured a third, according to KTRK-TV.

A grand jury charged Mario Roberson with felony arson on Monday. If convicted, Roberson faces five to 99 years in prison.

The charge came after five months of investigation by the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to USA Today.

Prior to the fire, Roberson filed multiple complaints, saying he was being racially targeted with violence and vandalism. San Jacinto County Assistant District Attorney Rob Freyer said those claims are still under investigation.

In one incident, Roberson said someone spray-painted the words, “We don’t like your kind,” on his home.

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