SOMERVILLE, N.J. – A New Jersey man was convicted of aggravated arson and several other charges for setting his ex-girlfriend’s house on fire in 2018.
Patrick Hammond, 36, was convicted of aggravated arson, nine counts of endangering another person, four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, animal cruelty and disorderly person criminal mischief.
He was found not guilty of attempted murder charges.
Hammond was arrested and charged after he purposely set his on-again, off-again girlfriend’s Hillsborough home while nine people were inside sleeping on Dec. 30, 2018, authorities said.
He had set the fire with an ignitable liquid and took pictures of the house ablaze and sent them to friends, according to officials.
Hammond led through a wooded area across the street from the fire scene where he discharged a charred glove, his phone and a lighter in the woods, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office said.
However, he was detained while trying to get to the vehicle about to transport him home, authorities said.
He eventually was taken to a hospital for an evaluation because he was acting erratically at police headquarters.
The residents, who ranged in age from 4 to 64 years old at the time of the incident, were able to safely escape. But the fire severely damaged the home.
Two pet cats died of smoke inhalation during the blaze, according to authorities.