Ex-Guard Pleads Guilty to Maryland Arson

Aaron Speed told investigators he was upset that his employer didn't show enough sympathy after his son died.


GREENBELT, Md. (AP) -- A former security guard at a housing development under construction pleaded guilty Thursday in an arson spree that destroyed at least 10 of the homes he had been hired to protect.

Aaron Speed, 21, told investigators that he was upset with his employer for not showing enough sympathy after his baby son died.

Speed pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit arson. The charge carries five to 20 years in prison.

The spree at the Hunters Brooke development was the biggest residential arson case in Maryland history, causing $10 million in damage to property belonging mostly to black homeowners. Five white men were charged in the case.

In April, 21-year-old Jeremy Parady pleaded guilty to conspiracy. Prosecutors said he helped set the fires because black families were moving in.

Prosecutors believe the men drove to the development Dec. 6, poured chemicals at 35 homes under construction and torched them. No one was hurt.