BRYAN - A Bryan man received a prison sentence Tuesday for burning down a house in the city.
Patrick Kirk Pitzer, 49, got a ten-year sentence in a Brazos County court. He had been found guilty Monday.
In the early morning hours of May 1, 2011, Pitzer was alleged to have burned down a home in the 1100 block of East 25th Street, a location he lived around the corner from at the time of the fire. The building that burned down was being remodeled.
While prosecutors relied on evidence they say connected Pitzer to the scene and statements from people who said they heard Pitzer admit to the crime, a report from the Bryan Fire Marshal's Office paints an alleged motive for the crime.
Through their investigation, authorities say they learned Pitzer had made a series of comments prior to the fire. He said there were "too damn many Mexicans in the neighborhood," and made claims that he would burn a home on Hutchins down when it was empty. A Hispanic family reportedly moved in, and the East 25th Street home came open.
"I missed my chance with that...house, but if contractors keep leaving the window open at the yellow house, I'm gonna throw some gas in and burn it down," Pitzer was quoted as saying.
The night of the fire, Pitzer was said to have rushed back into his home claiming to have ignited it and that he would call 9-1-1 when the fire was big enough. Investigators were notified.
Pitzer was described to investigators as a vindictive, vengeful, drug-using racist who hates law enforcement, according to an investigation report.
Prosecutors said they did not have enough evidence to pursue any hate crime charges.
Pitzer took the stand in the punishment phase of the trial and denied setting the fire.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to email@example.com. Please provide detailed information.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.