A retired Marine is headed to federal prison for the next 20 years after admitting to setting fire to several buildings in downtown Kinston more than six years ago.
William Elliot, 55, of Jacksonville, pleaded guilty to arson and making false statements to influence a bank loan.
The fires happened on July 14, 2012 and destroyed Elliot's building on East Gordon Street as well as two other buildings, one that housed a lawyer's office.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says the retired master gunnery sergeant became over-extended in real estate deals and had insured the East Gordon Street building for around $500,000 while he had only paid $65,000 for it.
The building housed a fitness and boxing center and the renter was actually sleeping inside when the fire began. He made it out alive.