Watch CBS News

Guilty Plea in Drunken Arson at Gamble & Huff Offices

by KYW's John Ostapkovich

A 28-year-old South Philadelphia man has admitted setting the fire that gutted the offices of Philadelphia International Records back in February.

Christopher Cimini (above) cut a small deal with the prosecutor, who dropped a burglary charge.

But assistant DA Peter Salib lists the charges that Cimini admitted to:

"Arson, causing a catastrophe, criminal mischief, criminal trespass.  And he plead 'open,' where the judge will determine the sentence."

Salib had presented a brief synopsis of the state's case, that Cimini, while inebriated, had broken into the PIR offices early on the morning of Sunday, February 21st and eventually set the two-alarm fire that destroyed priceless music memorabilia there.

The studio was spared, as were recording master reels, which are stored elsewhere.

When asked by the judge if he agreed with the scenario, Cimini's lawyer said his client was so drunk he doesn't remember.

He'll be sentenced September 10th, and could get 29½ to 59 years in prison and be required to pay $11,000 restitution -- equal to the insurance deductible.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.