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The makeshift bomb was thrown into a home in December, but did not break or ignite.
Cody Alan Shell
Saturday, May 25, 2013
A man accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail into a northwest Roanoke home — and nearly hitting a child with it — pleaded no contest Friday to one count of attempted arson.
Cody Alan Shell, 21, was found guilty of that felony charge in Roanoke Circuit Court and will be sentenced in August.
Attempted arson of an occupied dwelling carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.
The incident occurred shortly after midnight on Dec. 28, closely following a text message argument Shell had with another man, Michael Howell, according to Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney William Braxton.
Braxton said someone took a 40-ounce Bud Light bottle, poured gasoline into it, lit a makeshift wick and threw it at a window of a room in Howell’s father’s home on Cumberland Street. Howell and three other people were in that room, including two children, ages 1 and 11.
The bottle crashed through the window, then struck a glass coffee table inside the house and broke that as well without actually shattering, Braxton said. He said the gasoline in the bottle did not ignite, but added that Howell had told him the 11-year-old had to dodge the bottle as it came flying into the room.
Footage taken from a nearby security camera showed someone coming and going from Shell’s nearby home at the time of the attack, Braxton said, but he acknowledged that the image was not clear enough to identify who it was.
At a March bond hearing a judge denied Shell bond, and he has been held ever since.
As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to dismiss two related charges against Shell, including making a bomb and throwing a missile at an occupied dwelling.
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