CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, a jury convicted Stephen Long, 65, of setting fire to a Cornelius Police
Department patrol cruiser in 2011. The trial, which began September 30, 2013, was held in
courtroom 5370 before The Honorable James W. Morgan, Superior Court Judge.
Long was tried for 1) burning personal property and 2) malicious use of an explosive
or incendiary device to damage property. The jury found him guilty as charged. Judge
Morgan sentenced him to 12-15 months in prison.
In September 2011, a Cornelius police officer issued Long a speeding ticket while
Long, who lives in Florida, was in the area working as a contractor for a nearby
nuclear power plant. Days later, Long watched the same police officer monitoring a
crosswalk near the Cornelius Police Department. After that officer drove away, Long
placed a Molotov cocktail – an incendiary device he made using a milk jug and
gasoline – under a Cornelius police patrol car that was parked in a drug store parking
lot near the police department.
After the car caught fire, two police officers and a Good Samaritan help put out the flames.
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