Fri., July 17, 2009 10:56am (EDT)

Arson Defendent in Fort Benning Case Enters Guilty Plea
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 5 years ago

Macon  —   Shwana Topekia Pierce entered a guilty plea in the Federal Middle District Court in Macon. According to the United States Department of Justice the woman admitted to burning down the Staff Judge Advocate Building Number 5 at Fort Benning. On February 6, 2009 she entered the building, pouring gasoline in several areas. She used a butane lighter to ignite the structure.

The building was completely destroyed. A fireman and policeman suffered smoke inhalation injuries as a result of the fire. After setting the fire Pierce bragged about it on her MySpace web page. She was later arrested.

Building 5 was the second oldest oldest building on Fort Benning and is historically significant because it contained the original courtroom where Second Lieutenant William Calley was court-martial ed for his role in the My-Lai Massacre.

Pierce has not been sentenced but could serve up to twenty years in prison.