Chesterfield man charged with arson, graffiti of own home

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Chesterfield police say a man who claimed to be the victim of a hate crime, actually set fire to his own house and car and spray painted racial slurs on his own home.

Police arrested O. Deshea Cuthrell, 41, and charged him with two counts of felony arson. Cuthrell claimed his home in the 7800 block of Little Ridge Court, off Newby's Bridge Road, was vandalized on March 15. Racial slurs were painted on the exterior and his home and car were badly burned. The FBI was brought in to investigate the possible hate crimes.

At the time, Cuthrell said he considered moving out due to the alleged attack.

"It's absolute anger because this is my home. This is where my wife and kids where my family lay our heads," Cuthrell he said after the incident. "For somebody to violate us like that, and to put our lives in jeopardy for no apparent reason is beyond me."

Cuthrell said he had planned to use his car for cancer awareness, before it was set fire. He wanted survivors and victims to sign their names on it for his cancer foundation.

Police later ruled the fires were intentionally set, ignited by some type of flammable liquid. However, they weren't able to find a motive.

NBC12 spoke to Cuthrell's neighbors who were in disbelief.

"It just doesn't make sense when we were all trying to reach out to them," said neighbor Cari Pasquinelli. "Then it all turned out to be not true."

Now, Cuthrell is being held without bond at the Chesterfield County Jail pending a hearing in Chesterfield County General District Court on April 17.

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