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California man sentenced to 5 years in arson at Republican club

Carlos Espriu used bottles filled with gasoline to set a fire at the East Valley Republican Women Federated office in La Quinta in May 2020.

A California man who broke windows and threw a firebomb inside a Republican office last year was sentenced to five years in prison Monday.

Carlos Espriu, 24, set the fire at the East Valley Republican Women Federated office in La Quinta, which is the Inland Empire region east of Los Angeles, early May 31, 2020.

Espriu pleaded guilty in March to one count of attempted arson of a building. There were no injuries. He was ordered to pay around $5,400 for damages, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California said.

His attorney, Leonard J. Cravens, said the charge carried a five-year minimum sentence. Cravens said there is no clear reason why Espriu committed the crime.

According to court documents, Espriu later told someone in his car that he did it "to prove it to myself" and that "I’ve been saying I’m gonna do this ... then I did it." The conversation was recorded on a dash camera.

Espriu broke windows with a bat and threw in lit bottles that were taped together, then returned and picked them up and threw them again, this time causing a fire. He was captured on video, according to a criminal complaint.

Espriu was arrested in September and has been in jail since.

Andrew Blankstein contributed.