Teen charged with setting fire at cemetery

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 5, 2012

By Shavonne Potts
SALISBURY — A Salisbury High School student was arrested Wednesday, charged with setting a fire at the Salisbury National Cemetery annex.
Robert Andrew Luther Jr., 18, of 212 S. Clay St., was charged with willfully/negligently setting fire to woods/ lands/fields, first-degree trespassing and resist, obstruct, delay an officer, all misdemeanors.
It was determined that the teen was involved in a fire set at the Statesville Boulevard annex of the cemetery on Wednesday.
A Salisbury Police officer was investigating suspicious people concerning the fire.
Luther gave an incorrect date of birth when officers asked him twice, according to police reports and arrest warrants.
Luther is said to have gathered together a pile of pine needles from under bushes and set them on fire near a bench in the cemetery, a warrant said.
He did “willfully” enter onto the cemetery property to loiter for the “purpose of setting pine needles on fire,” the warrant said.
Luther was previously convicted of simple assault and in July was given probation.
Luther remains in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $5,000 bond.
He is expected in court later this month.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.