Man who set car on fire sentenced

BALTIMORE (WMAR) - A Baltimore City judge sentenced Richard Lankford Jr., 42, to 12 years in prison for his role in setting his cousin's van on fire after she asked him to move out of her home.

Lankford pled guilty last week to second degree arson and received a 12 year prison sentence today.

On the morning of July 16, 2012, Mary McDowell discovered that Lankford's mother had developed a leg infection and told her cousin that she needed to go to the hospital.

Lankford, who was living in McDowell's Baltimore County home and refused to take his mother, explaining that he intended to spend time with friends instead.

Before taking the woman to the hospital herself, McDowell told Lankford that his friends were not welcome in her home.

Later that day, while at the hospital, McDowell received a call from her son, who said that Lankford's friends were inside the home. McDowell then told Lankford to pack his belongings and move out.

Angered, Lankford went to the hospital, found his cousins van and set it on fire.  He then threatened to burn down her house.

Security surveillance video captured at the hospital showed a man fitting Lankford's description entering the van and exiting two minutes later smoking a cigarette. The vehicle immediately caught fire.

At the time of the incident, Lankford had an outstanding warrant for allegedly burglarizing a former employer's home in 2010. He pled guilty to that crime as well this week, receiving a concurrent sentence of 12 years.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments