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Man pleads guilty to burning business during protest

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Posted at 4:09 PM, Sep 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-08 17:09:40-04

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal judge has sentenced a Madison man to five years in prison for trying to burn down a jewelry store during a police brutality protest last year.

A grand jury charged Willie Tremaine Johnson with two counts of attempted arson in October. Prosecutors accused him of trying to burn down Chalmer's Jewelers and the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce headquarters on Aug. 25, 2020, during the protest.

The demonstration began after a white police officer shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha. Johnson pleaded guilty Wednesday to trying to burn down the jewelry store.

Prosecutors dropped the second count in exchange. U.S. District Judge James Peterson handed down the sentence.