November 8, 2012 -- For setting fire to a Northwest rowhouse occupied by a former girlfriend, her young son, and two other women, Randall Martin Jr., 56, was convicted by a jury yesterday of 10 criminal counts including first-degree arson and reckless endangerment, Baltimore City State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein announced.
At 3:50 a.m. on June 29, 2010, as his former girlfriend, her five-year-old son, and two others slept inside, Martin doused the front porch of the rowhouse in the 4300 block of Norfolk Avenue in gasoline and set it ablaze. The fire destroyed the home and heavily damaged a neighboring unit. Fortunately, everyone from both houses escaped; a family pet, however, was killed.
Earlier that same month, Martin and the victim ended their six-year relationship. Roughly two weeks later, on June 28, the two engaged in a dispute outside of the rowhouse, during which the victim threw a rock at Martin's car. Martin responded that night by burning down her house, a house that he had arranged for her as a board director for a nonprofit group that provides housing assistance for families in need. Martin had kept hidden the relationship from the nonprofit when he secured housing for the victim.
After the incident, Martin fled to his residence in Baltimore County where he refused to surrender to police even after tactical units arrived. Several hours later, he exited the home with his wife. After Martin was charged, he violated a bail condition by making contact with the victim.
At sentencing on January 7, 2013, Martin faces a maximum sentence of 69.5 years. Judge Sylvester B. Cox revoked Martin's bail when the jury returned its verdict.
The Major Investigations Unit was responsible for the prosecution of this case.