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Holt gets 10 years for throwing explosive

A man whom authorities say intended to do harm to his former girlfriend made a mistake by throwing an explosive device into the wrong house in Thomson last year. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in McDuffie County Superior Court last week, The McDuffie Mirror has learned.

The story, which first appeared in The Mirror , later appeared as a brief in several daily newspapers across America and aired on a television crime show in Japan.

Robert Gregory Holt, of the 100 block of Rosewood Avenue, Thomson, received the sentence Thursday after pleading guilty to charges of arson in the first degree, four counts of aggravated assault and unlawful possession of a destructive device.

In addition to Mr. Holt's incarceration, he also was sentenced to 10 years probation on the multiple counts of aggravated assault and 10 years in confinement to run concurrent to the prison sentence on the charge of unlawful possession of a destructive device.

Toombs Judicial Circuit Superior Court Chief Judge Roger W. Dunaway, Jr. sentenced Mr. Holt to the prison term.

Judge Dunaway also sentenced Mr. Holt to 12 months each on two counts of simple battery, 12 months probation on a theft by taking charge and merged a separate aggravated assault and aggravated stalking to the original sentenced involving arson, according to McDuffie County Superior Court Clerk Connie Cheatham.

Mr. Holt is being held in the McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center until he is picked up by officers with the Georgia Department of Corrections.

In the arson case, Mr. Holt threw an explosive device into the 509 Dell Drive residence of John Willingham on Dec. 20, 2009, according to court records. He mistook the Willingham residence for that of his former girlfriend, authorities said.

During the arson case, he assaulted four victims, John Willingham, Carlos Elam, Derrick Willingham and Phillip Rivers, records show.

Mr. Holt, who was represented by Anne Carroll of the public defender's office, was prosecuted by Toombs Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Kevin Majeska.

Web posted on Thursday, June 03, 2010

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