A California man found guilty of lighting UC Berkeley students on fire inside a boba tea shop in 2020 with a blowtorch has been released from custody and will avoid jail time, The Berkeley Scanner reports.
Brandon McGlone, 49, was referred to the Veterans Treatment Court and will be participating in a “diversion treatment” program as part of his plea deal, according to Alameda County Superior Court records.
Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price, who ran on “racial equity”, agreed to the plea deal after reaching an agreement with the public defender’s office, the outlet reports.
At a court hearing on April 28, Judge James Cramer said that all charges “will be dismissed” if McGlone succesfully completes the diversion program. According to The Berkeley Scanner, if McGlone does not complete the program he will be sent to prison for up to eight years.
“He must successfully engage in and complete whatever course of therapy is prescribed by the treatment team and abide by whatever conditions are set forth,” Judge Cramer said. “If he fails to do so, he could be terminated from the Veterans Treatment Court program and sentence will be imposed.”
On September 14, 2020, McGlone entered the Feng Cha Teahouse at 2528 Durant Ave and set two Asian men on fire after attempting to set fire to two others outside of the store, according to court documents.