Giebelstadt soldier sentenced to 3 years for arson
WüRZBURG, Germany — An Army dental technician has been sentenced to three years in prison, fined $15,000 and given a bad-conduct discharge for setting a fire last February that destroyed the off-base apartment of his estranged wife and left five other military families temporarily homeless.
Sgt. Kevin Amoroso, 27, of the 523rd Medical Company-Dental in Giebelstadt, pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of aggravated arson, willful destruction of government property and disobeying a lawful command. Tried on a separate charge of aggravated assault against his wife, Spc. Petra Amoroso, he was found guilty of the lesser charge of assault consummated by battery.
“This is a soldier who snapped,” said Capt. Sean Condron, the Army prosecutor. “He didn’t really care about the safety of the people in the building. He only cared about himself.”
The Amorosos were separated, and his command had imposed an order on September 2001 forbidding him to meet her in person.
Kevin Amoroso acknowledged in court he had become angry on the evening of Feb. 16 after his wife called to say she wouldn’t be picking up their two children from their weekly visit as scheduled.
Suspecting she was with another man, he said he drove to her apartment in a Würzburg suburb around midnight. When she wouldn’t let him inside the third-floor unit, he kicked down the door. He found Petra Amoroso in the bedroom with another soldier, Spc. Damon Gordon of the 82nd Engineer Battalion in Bamberg. Both testified Gordon had come over only to fix a problem with her computer.
Kevin Amoroso acknowledged attacking his wife and brawling with Gordon, both of whom fled the apartment. Then, he said, he took a large bundle of clothes from her closet, doused them with perfume, and lit them on fire. The fire soon spread, despite his efforts to extinguish it.
The blaze caused more than $100,000 worth of damage to the six-unit apartment, Condron said. The Army also spent several thousand dollars moving the occupants to new quarters.
Kevin Amoroso apologized for his rampage, saying he didn’t intend to torch the building. He begged to stay in the Army, but the military judge, Lt. Col. Robin Hall, ordered him discharged.