COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The man who firebombed the Salty Nut Cafe in early 2012 has pleaded guilty.
Theodore Podewil appeared in a Richland County courtroom Thursday to enter the plea. He was sentenced to seven years in prison plus five years probation.
He was arrested about a month after the January 6, 2012 fire destroyed the inside of the Five Points staple. Police say Podewil, then 22, threw a Molotov cocktail into the window of the restaurant.
Evidence, which included surveillance video, linked Podewil to the Salty Nut fire as well as other fires on or near campus during the month of January.
USC police arrested him at his Laurens Street home after fingerprints on an un-exploded Molotov cocktail were found next to a dumpster behind a campus building on Main Street.
The Salty Nut reopened in September after extensive renovations.
State Law Enforcement Division records show Podewil's criminal record started growing about 10 months before the fires.
Podewil's rap sheet shows two DUI charges, a reckless driving charge, an open container charge, a cocaine possession charge, failure to stop for a blue light.