Maryland Man: Jesus Told Me to Set Fire

July 15--The 23-year-old man charged with setting a basement fire that sent another man to the hospital told investigators Jesus told him it was his responsibility to "get the gay out," charging documents show.

Xavien Neal Pinkney, of Ballman Court in Brooklyn Park, has been charged with attempted first degree murder, first-degree arson, first- and second-degree malicious burning, reckless endangerment and destruction of property, according to online court records.

Firefighters responded to the first block of Ballman Court around 6:30 a.m. to find smoke coming from a row home. Firefighters were able to bring the incident under control in about 20 minutes, fire department spokesman Lt. Russ Davies said.

While on the scene firefighters received information that a man with burns was at the Save A Lot grocery in the 5000 block of Ritchie Highway.

Firefighters traveled to the location and found the man suffering from first- and second-degree burns to his arms and back. He was taken to the Bayview Burn Center in Baltimore.

In addition to the man, two other occupants were displaced and the fire resulted in an estimated $38,000 in damage to the structure and contents, fire officials said.

Fire investigators determined the fire to be incendiary and intentional in nature. Investigators were quickly able to develop Pinkney as a suspect.

Pinkney admitted to starting the fire with the intention of burning the victim, Davies said.

He told investigators he said Jesus had told him it was his responsibility to punish homosexuals living in the house, and produced a lighter he said he had used to start it, charging documents show.

Davis said it would be up to prosecutors to decide whether to seek hate crime charges against Pinkey.

He did not know Pinkey's relationship to the victim to the man but said firefighters believe that he had been living at the residence for a couple of weeks.

Additional information was not immediately available Tuesday morning.

Copyright 2014 - The Capital, Annapolis, Md.

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