YORK, S.C. -- A Clover teenager pleaded guilty to lighting three homes on fire, including his own Wednesday morning.
Matthew Adkins, 17, pleaded guilty but mentally ill, admitting he is responsible for the arson.
Adkins was 16 years old at the time of the fires, which were all set in the same Clover neighborhood in March 2015.
“I wanted to be here for closure,” said Cathy Norman, whose childhood home was one of the three homes Adkins admitted to torching.
“They were a lot of things I can’t replace. It’s the only home I’ve ever known, and not having any immediate family anymore, that made it so much more important that I had those memories of my family, and I no longer have that.”
Adkins will be formally sentenced in January. Norman says she hopes no one else has to experience the pain she faced.
“I’m grateful to be back in my house, I’m grateful to have a roof over my head, but it’s not home, it’s not the things my mom and dad hung on the wall, it’s not the memories I had,” she said.
Due to the severity of the crimes, Adkins is being tried as an adult.
He faces 15 years to life on each burglary charge, in addition to 15 years for each arson charge.