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Posted on Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

Man who set ex-girlfriend's home on fire while family was inside sentenced to up to 20 years in prison

By Kyle Feldscher

The man who set his ex-girlfriend’s home on fire, with her two children and niece inside, after she broke up with him will serve between four years and nine months and 20 years in prison.

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Akil Alexander

Akil Alexander pleaded guilty to one count of arson of a dwelling or house in December and was sentenced by Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge Archie Brown on Wednesday.

Alexander’s ex-girlfriend, who is not naming because doing so would identify her children, said Alexander took away her family’s right to feel secure in their own home. The victim told Brown that as she and her family ran out of the home, the first thing they saw was Alexander standing and watching the home burn.

“Not only did he put my life in danger, but my daughter, my son, my niece and even my dog in danger as well by setting my house on fire,” she said.

Police responded at 1:30 a.m. April 10 to the home on Maplelawn Drive in Ypsilanti Township after receiving a report of a loud explosion. According to police, a small part of the exterior of the home had been set on fire and Ypsilanti Township firefighters spent about 10 minutes putting out the blaze.

The fire caused thousands of dollars in damage, according to fire department officials. No one was injured in the incident.

Alexander declined the opportunity to make a statement in court before he was sentenced.

The woman told Brown that Alexander lied about “everything but his name.” She said he had told her his brother died in a car accident in Chicago and his mother died a month later, and that all his family was in Chicago, so he wanted to marry her.

She said Alexander had control issues that were raised every time she doubted him. After the arson she discovered Alexander is married and has a family in Dearborn Heights, she said.

Alexander returned to the Washtenaw County Jail following the hearing in order to be transferred to the Michigan Department of Corrections. He received credit for the 285 days he has already spent in custody, according to Brown’s ruling

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Fri, Feb 3, 2012 : 1:15 a.m.

Quite a spread on this sentence, 4-20 years. Hope he serves the entire 20 years.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 8:10 p.m.

Haha, I went to school with this guy. You never know what people are capable of. This is so scary and such a shame. I pray all the victims recover, including the wife and children in Dearborn smh


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 5:37 p.m.

OMG, so little time to serve after he commited this horrible crime? My heart goes out to the EX and children. Now he will be warm, fed and watered....what a shame.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

should serve every minute of the 20 years and @hard labor.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 1:09 p.m.

When dangerous dogs do something terrible, they get put down--and the dogs don't know any better. When this person did what he did, he knew better, and gets a slap on the behind. Maybe the punishments should be reversed.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 12:08 p.m.

Four years, nine months? He attempted to kill the residents, and the firefighters who respond, and that's all he got? With good time, doing the minimum, we are looking at 3 years...What a load...


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 12:10 p.m.

Michigan doesn't have "good time." He's looking at a minimum of four years and 9 months.


Thu, Feb 2, 2012 : 11:50 a.m.

How about 20 years at hard labor? Or twenty years sorting recycle stuff for the city? Obviously we have an attitude problem here...