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Galesburg Man Pleads Guilty in Minneapolis Arson Case

Apr 9, 2021

A Galesburg man pleaded guilty to one count of arson in connection with last year's protests in Minneapolis after the death of George Floyd.

The Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota said a sentencing date will be scheduled later for Matthew Lee Rupert, age 28.

Prosecutors said Rupert announced on Facebook Live that he was in Minneapolis and that he was there to riot. They also said the video showed Rupert encouraging violence against police officers. The video also shows him breaking into buildings and looting businesses.

Prosecutors said Rupert entered a boarded-up Sprint store, knocked over several boxes, and sprayed the pile of boxes with lighter fluid. He then told someone else -- who was a juvenile at the time -- to light the pile on fire.

Prosecutors said the fire damaged the store.