Updated: Wednesday, 28 Apr 2010, 5:50 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 28 Apr 2010, 5:50 PM EDT
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - A Virginia Beach man will serve 10 years behind bars for his role in a burglary and arson at a self-storage business last September.
Dustin Lee Hess, 23, was sentenced Wednesday by Circuit Court Judge Edward W. Hanson to 45 years, but Hanson suspended 35 years. Hess was also sentenced to indefinite supervised probation and ordered to have no contact with the victims.
Hess pleaded guilty in January to four counts of burglary, three counts of grand larceny, one count of conspiracy, and one count of arson in connection with the September 24, 2009, burglary and fire at the AAAA Self-Storage located at 4656 Honeygrove Road in Virginia Beach.
Accordong to the Virginia Beach Commonwealth's Attorney, Hess and co-defendant Joshua Hutchins went to the self-storage business just after 4:00 a.m., cut the locks on multiple units and stole property stored inside. The defendants then set two of the units on fire.
The storage units were attached to an on-site apartment inhabited by the facility manager, who, along with two small children, was home at the time of the fire. The manager, awakened by the sound of firefighters on the scene, escapted with her family unharmed.
Officials say Hess confessed his involvement to friends, and that security video and pawn shop records tied him to the stolen property. He was arrested in Richmond.
The fires damaged a total of 12 storage units.
Hutchins is scheduled to be sentenced on May 4th.
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