Pennsylvania man sentenced to 5 years in prison for hurling Molotov cocktail at historic courthouse

Samson Yohe of Adams County, Pennsylvania, was also ordered to pay $280 in restitution

A Pennsylvania man received a five-year prison sentence with three years of supervised release last week for attempting to firebomb a courthouse with a Molotov cocktail in December 2019.

Samson Yohe, 30, was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment for malicious attempt to destroy a building by fire and explosives and was also ordered to pay $280 in restitution for having damaged the historic Adams County Courthouse in Gettysburg, according to a Friday press release from the Department of Justice.

U.S. Attorney Gerard M. Karam said Yohe threw an incendiary device comprised of an antique bottle filled with an unidentified liquid, several matches and a white cotton sock at the window of the courthouse on Dec. 22, 2019. The device damaged the window but did not explode.

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Samson Yohe, 30, was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment for malicious attempt to destroy a building by fire and explosives.

Samson Yohe, 30, was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment for malicious attempt to destroy a building by fire and explosives. (Adams County Prison)

Law enforcement found Yohe after surveillance footage led them to his apartment. Upon obtaining a search warrant, police went through Yohe's residence and found a backpack and shoes that had the same patterns on them as those the perpetrator wore in the video.

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In addition to a bottle of lighter fluid and other antique glass bottles, police discovered Yohe's backpack contained eight boxes of matches of the same brand that were in the Molotov cocktail hurled at the courthouse.

Samson Yohe was sentenced to five years in prison for hurling a Molotov cocktail at the Adams County Courthouse in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Samson Yohe was sentenced to five years in prison for hurling a Molotov cocktail at the Adams County Courthouse in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. (Heidi Hall)

District Judge Jennifer P. Wilson ordered Yohe to pay $280 in the damage he inflicted on the courthouse window, even though the Molotov cocktail did not ignite.

In 2019, Yohe was originally charged in county court with arson, risking a catastrophe, unlawful possession of a weapon of mass destruction and arson of a historic resource, all of which are felonies.

Gettysburg, home to the Gettysburg National Battlefield, is the county seat of Adams County in Pennsylvania.

Gettysburg, home to the Gettysburg National Battlefield, is the county seat of Adams County in Pennsylvania. (DenisTangneyJr via Getty Images)

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Yohe has a previous criminal record that included 2017 convictions of aggravated assault by prisoner and making terroristic threats in Adams County, as well as a 2018 aggravated assault conviction in neighboring York County, according to court records obtained by the York Dispatch.