Nashville Courthouse Fire Suspect’s Sentencing Delayed for the Second Time


Wesley Somers, aged 26, of Hendersonville was supposed to be sentenced Tuesday in federal court for his role in the Nashville courthouse fire but the sentencing has been delayed for a second time.

Somers was originally supposed to be sentenced on December 1st, 2021 and it had been postponed to January 18th, 2022. The Clerk’s Office of the Middle District of Tennessee told The Tennessee Star that Mr. Somers’ counsel made a motion to postpone, yet again. The new sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 22nd at 1pm.

Wesley Somers was the first person arrested in connection with the May 30, 2020 Nashville Courthouse fire and, after the case was moved to federal jurisdiction, will be the second to receive a sentence. Mr. Somers previously pled guilty to the federal charge of Malicious Destruction of Property Using Fire or Explosives.

Previous reporting said on May 31, 2020 Metro Nashville Police Department announced that Wesley Somers, aged 26, of Hendersonville, had been arrested “on charges of felony arson, vandalism, & disorderly conduct for setting fire to Nashville’s Historic Courthouse”. Somers was identified by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department – Specialized Investigation Division after receiving numerous tips from citizens who had seen videos from the incident.

Shelby Ligons, 22, of Nashville was the second person to plead guilty to a federal charge and the first person sentenced. She was sentenced to 12 months and one day for the charge of Malicious Destruction of Property Using Fire or Explosives, the same charge that Mr. Somers pled guilty to. Other conditions include 3 years of supervised release upon the completion of the term of imprisonment, restitution in the amount of $500, and a fee of $100.

It remains unclear if Mr. Somers will receive a similar sentence to Ms. Ligons.

In August of 2020, the Department of Justice released a statement describing what occurred at the Nashville Metro Courthouse:

The criminal complaint alleges that on the afternoon of May 30, 2020, protesters gathered in downtown Nashville following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Later in the evening, a number of persons gathered in front of the Nashville City Hall, also known as the Metro Courthouse. Using various tools, including crowbars and other objects, they began smashing the windows of the premises and spraying graffiti on the Courthouse facade. One or more fires were also set inside of the Courthouse at this time.

Judge Aleta Trauger continues to be the presiding judge over this case.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.



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