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home : news : law enforcement December 1, 2022

11/18/2022 9:53:00 AM
Gastonia Man Arrested in Tony's Ice Cream Fire

Gastonia Police Department
Press Release

Gastonia Police say DNA evidence was used to find and arrest a 35-year-old Gastonia man in connection with a fire at Tony's Ice Cream on E. Franklin Blvd. that happened August 4th.

Marvin Durell McCaskill was charged Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 15th) and had his first court appearance Wednesday.

The fire happened before 6 AM on Thursday August 4th. Gastonia firefighters arriving on the scene found no fire visible from outside the building, but once inside, they could tell a fire had occurred.

A Tony's employee was working inside the business at the time of the fire, but was not injured.

The presence of that person at the business resulted in McCaskill also being charged with attempted murder in addition to breaking & entering, burning a building, and malicious use of an explosive causing damage to property. He was also charged with possession of a weapon of mass destruction.

Police say McCaskill Detectives broke a window , threw a flammable accelerant inside, and fled. The damage wasn't that great; nobody was injured, and the ice cream shop was able to open for business that day.

Early in their investigation, detectives recovered DNA evidence from the crime scene, which they entered into a national DNA database, and the sample matched McCaskill’s DNA. In early November, they obtained another DNA sample from McCaskill. Results from the lab on Nov. 14th confirmed a 100% match with the DNA from the crime scene. McCaskill was arrested and is currently jailed under a one million dollar bond.

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