By MARLO BARNHART
A Hagerstown man with a criminal record of 10 felony convictions - including three for arson - was sentenced Monday morning in Washington County Circuit Court to 20 years in prison for the Jan. 25 House of Kobe fire.
Kevin Augustus Cotton, 31, continued to maintain he was not involved in the fire that destroyed the popular Japanese restaurant.
"If I had participated in this crime, I'd feel guilt," Cotton said. "I'm at a loss because I'm not involved."
That stance was in contrast to the testimony at Cotton's Sept. 23 trial, when several of his friends said he told them he had "nothing better to do" the morning of Jan. 25 than set fire to the House of Kobe.
A jury found Cotton was found guilty of second-degree arson. A companion conviction of malicious destruction of property was merged Monday morning and Judge Kennedy Boone imposed no further sentence.