New Bern man sentenced for starting pair of apartment fires

Elijah Parente (Courtesy of District 3B Attorney's Office)

NEW BERN, Craven County - A New Bern man who pleaded guilty to two counts of arson was sentenced to five to seven years in prison, the District 3B Attorney's Office announced.

Elijah Parente, 25, set fire to the inside of an apartment on Red Robin Lane in New Bern before fleeing the scene in October 2015. The apartment itself was unoccupied, though other residents in neighboring apartments had to be evacuated.

There was significant damage done by the fire to the apartment.

While the investigation into that fire was being conducted, Parente set fire to another apartment, this one in the Craven Terrace housing project, in December of that same year. Again, the apartment was vacant but neighbors from adjacent apartment had to be evacuated while the fire was extinguished.

In addition to his prison sentence, Parente was ordered to pay $16,000 in restitution. He was also ordered to undergo mental health treatment while in prison and will have to continue that upon his release.

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