Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that George Reddick (age 59), of Brooklyn, NY, waived indictment and pled nolo contendere today before Superior Court Justice Walter R. Stone to one count of first degree arson. Reddick will be sentenced in January. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Reddick is facing a maximum of 20 years with five years to serve.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove that on the afternoon of February 17, 2014, Reddick entered the Walmart location on Connell Highway in Newport. In an attempt to cover up his shoplifting activities, he set two fires, one in the paper goods aisle and a second in the bath and towel aisle. The store was evacuated and remained closed for several days for clean up and to restock inventory.
Reddick has remained held without bail since his arrest on February 19, 2014.
Newport Police Detective Danny Turmell, Jr. led the investigation, with assistance from Newport Fire Marshal Wayne Clark and Rhode Island State Fire Marshal David Curran. Special Assistant Attorney General John H. Dean prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.