Today, 21-year-old Tampa man, Terrance Lee Hester Jr. was sentenced to five years in federal prison for damaging or destroying by fire the Champs Sports store at 2301 East Fowler Avenue in Tampa.
According to court documents, the events that led to Hester’s conviction occurred around midnight on May 31, 2020, in a shopping plaza located at 2301 East Fowler Avenue in Tampa. Simultaneously with a peaceful protest going on in the area, certain individuals began to loot and destroy property, including setting fire to the Champs Sports store located in the plaza. The building, which also housed other businesses, became fully engulfed in fire, resulting in major damage and loss of property. The loss to the building, the Champs Sports store, and the other businesses is estimated at $1.25 million.
Video footage obtained by investigators revealed that Hester tossed a flaming piece of cloth into the Champs Sports store through a broken window. Fire investigators determined that the fire originated inside the Champs Sports store, and Hester’s act caused or contributed to the cause of the fire.
In addition to the five years in federal prison, Hester was ordered to pay restitution and to serve three years of supervised release following completion of his prison sentence.