WASHINGTON, March 15 (RIA Novosti) - A former naval shipyard worker who confessed to setting a fire aboard a US nuclear submarine causing $450 million in damage was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison Friday in US District Court in Maine.
“From the bottom of my heart, I’m truly sorry,” said 26-year-old Casey Fury during his sentencing hearing. “I can’t put into words the remorse I feel. I had no intention of hurting anyone,” he said according to local media reports.
Fury, who worked as a painter at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine for three years, was sentenced on two counts of arson, resulting from two separate incidents while he was working on the USS Miami nuclear-powered attack submarine.
On May 23, 2012 Fury set fire to a rag and left it on the top bunk of a bed on the submarine, with hopes the commotion of the fire would allow him to leave work early.
The blaze quickly spread, causing widespread damage that took more than ten hours and 100 firefighters to extinguish. Seven people were hurt, the US Navy said.
The second fire took place three weeks later, this time on the outside of the sub. Once again, Fury said he started the blaze because he wanted to go home due to anxiety.
Fury, who initially denied setting the fires, eventually confessed and pled guilty to two counts of arson last November. In addition to the 17-year sentence, Fury was also ordered to pay $400 million in restitution for the damages caused to the submarine.
According to various media reports, the US Navy said it intends to repair the USS Miami, but those plans have been postponed due to the automatic federal budget cuts that went into effect March 1st.