KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — After a jury was selected and prosecutors began presenting their evidence, a Knox County man facing aggravated arson charges changed his plea to guilty-as-charged on Monday.
Knox County District Attorney Charme Allen says 39-year-old Gregory Joseph Dies was convicted of the charge and sentenced to 15 years in prison without parole. Allen said Dies changed his plea after the jury was selected and prosecutors began presenting their case.
Prosecutors told the jury first responders arrived at a residential fire in Halls in late June of 2020. They found a fire on the front porch and a burning gas container in the driveway. A victim told investigators that he saw Dies pouring gasoline on the front porch. Dies then started swearing and threatened to burn the house down.
The victim called 911 and that’s when he heard the gasoline being ignited and saw flames on the front porch. Dies was taken to UT Medical Center for treatment of burns he suffered at the scene.