NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Wesley Somers, accused of setting fire to the historic Nashville courthouse this past Saturday, now faces federal arson charges.
The Department of Justice said Wednesday that Somers, of Hendersonville, had been charged in a criminal complaint with “malicious destruction of property using fire or explosives.”
The DOJ said Somers was seen on video and in photographs trying to smash windows at the courthouse. They said one photo showed Somers “holding an unknown accelerant” and putting it through a window.
If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum of five years and up to 20 years in prison.
Metro police arrested the 25-year-old Sunday in connection with the vandalism and fire set at the courthouse Saturday night. Police say Somers was arrested at a home on Manzano Road in Madison.
Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson would not speculate on whether Somers was part of any outside organization. He said Somers did not talk with officers when he was arrested.
Somers had a review hearing this morning, where a judge appointed him an attorney.