Whyte Avenue arsonist handed 15-month sentence
EDMONTON -- The so-called Whyte Avenue arsonist was sentenced to 15 months in jail Wednesday in Edmonton.
Malice Sutton, 23, pleaded guilty in August to arson with disregard for human life, possessing an explosive device, assault with a weapon and arson causing property damage to motor vehicles.
Sutton was captured on camera pouring gas on several vehicles along Whyte Avenue and setting them on fire on April 12.
He damaged 13 vehicles before two men put him under citizen arrest in a coffee shop.
Sutton spoke in court Wednesday, apologizing not only to those involved in the incident but the entire city.
"I wish to apologize to the City of Edmonton as a whole," he said, adding he wanted to reach out to victims personally but is not allowed because of a no-contact order.
The judge said his apology to the city "speaks volumes" and sentenced Sutton to 15 months.
With credit for his 230 days already served, Sutton will serve an additional three-and-a-half months behind bars.
The agreed statement of facts showed Sutton told police he was homeless, unemployed and "suffering from declining mental health" prior to committing arson.
His lawyer said he was highly intoxicated at the time and the spree was an attempt at suicide by police.
Sutton underwent a psychiatric assessment prior to sentencing, where he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
In his ruling, the judge cited Sutton's early admission of guilt as well as his upbringing as mitigating factors in his sentencing.
According to his lawyer, he "grew up in an extremely difficult environment where his father was incarcerated for murder and his mother had white supremacist views."
The incident was Sutton's first brush with the law. In addition to jail time, he will serve three years probation.