Augusta man found guilty of arson

After just 30 minutes of deliberation, a Richmond County jury on Tuesday found an Augusta man guilty of arson in connection to a 2020 apartment fire.

Charles Bragg, 52, was found guilty of arson in the first degree. Superior Court Judge John Flythe sentenced Bragg to three years in prison, followed by 17 years of probation.

The two-day trial centered around a fire at the HUD Augusta apartment complex on Wrightsboro Road on Sept. 14, 2020.

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Richmond County sheriff's deputies were called to the scene prior to the arson for an altercation involving Bragg and one of the property maintenance workers, according to a news release from the Augusta District Attorney's Office.

There was a 25-minute window from the time deputies and staff left and when the fire was reported, according to the release. Bragg was the only person left on the property during that time.

Bragg had stacked boxes full of clothing and other items in the lobby/hallway outside his door to prevent people from entering, and the boxes had been set on fire, according to a previous Augusta Chronicle article.

A passerby traveling on Wrightsboro Road called 911 to report billowing smoke coming from the building and Bragg remained at the scene watching the fire grow, "making no attempt to put it out or alert authorities," according to the release.

"Some people just want to watch the world burn," assistant district attorney Kyle Davis told the jury. "When Charles Bragg stood on that lawn watching this building burn, he was saying, 'If I can’t live here, no one can.'"

The District Attorney's Office confirmed there were no injuries.

This article originally appeared on Augusta Chronicle: Augusta man sentenced to three years for 2020 arson