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Prison Term for Galesburg Man in Minneapolis Arson Case

Matthew Lee Rupert

A Galesburg man was sentenced to more than eight years in prison for setting fire to a cell phone store in Minneapolis during last year's protesting after the killing of George Floyd. 

Matthew Lee Rupert, 29, will also have to serve three years of supervised release after his time in prison ends.

Rupert pleaded guilty in April to one count of arson.

Prosecutors said Rupert announced on Facebook Live in May, 2020 that he was in Minneapolis and that he was there to riot. They also said the video showed Rupert encouraging violence against police officers, and the video 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 caused significant damage to the store.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.