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Baltimore rioter who burned CVS gets sentence from judge–and it wipes the grin right off his face

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One of the men responsible for the destruction in Baltimore during the Freddie Gray riots last year just learned his fate.

Donta Betts, 20, was one of the worst rioters, according to prosecutors who claim he set fires, looted and attacked police, CBS Baltimore reported.

On Friday a judge sentenced him to 15 years for his role.

Social media played a role in Betts prosecution. A viral photo of him squirting lighter fluid on propane cylinders circulated after the event.

Donta Betts
Photo credit ATF via CBS Baltimore.

“Donta Betts was a menace to society here in Baltimore. The scope of the criminal activity he was involved in is really breathtaking,” U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein said.

Betts did it all “from throwing rocks to destroying police cars, starting fires, stealing from pharmacies,” Rosenstein said.

According to prosecutors Betts confessed to his part in the riots when he explained to them “I did all this because that was my period to go wild on police.”

Months after the riots Betts even shot a woman over a $20 drug deal dispute, according to CBS Baltimore.

“If you look on the conduct that Donta Betts committed, it’s like an arc on a TV series,” Rosenstein said.

The decision is being heralded as proof that rioters won’t be immune from prosecution.

“It’s very important for the city to recognize when people commit violent acts like this, they’re going to be held responsible,” ATF investigator David Cheplak said.

It’s a lesson Betts learned in a big way.

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Carmine Sabia


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