A New Jersey man who posted on Facebook about damaging police cars in May 2020 pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal. Carlos Matchett is the fourth person to admit in court that he set police cars outside Philadelphia City Hall on fire during protests following the death of George Floyd by a former Minneapolis police officer, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Matchett was also charged with inciting a riot in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the day after he set Philadelphia police cars ablaze.
As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop the arson charges out of Philadelphia — and their accompanying seven-year mandatory minimum prison term — in exchange for Matchett’s guilty plea to one felony count each of obstructing law enforcement during a civil disorder and traveling to incite a riot for the New Jersey offense. He now faces up to five years in prison on each count at a sentencing scheduled in February.
Matchett admitted to spraying a police car with lighter fluid before throwing the entire bottle into the burning car. He also acknowledged that he livestreamed his efforts to encourage looting in Atlantic City.
Charges are still pending against three others accused of setting police cars on fire in Philadelphia during the demonstration. Earlier this year, Government Fleet reported that Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal, also accused in Philadelphia police car fires, pleaded guilty.