A 35-year-old man, identified as M.M., has pleaded guilty to charges of malicious destruction of property and second-degree arson after driving his car through the fence of a solar facility that provides energy to MGM Resorts properties in Las Vegas. The man, a dentist from Colorado, claimed that he is mentally ill, leading to the guilty plea.
Initially, the suspect faced charges of arson, destroying or injuring real or personal property, as well as acts of terrorism. However, after the guilty plea, he will be sentenced for the lesser charges of malicious destruction of property and second-degree arson. According to Nevada laws, arson in the second degree is considered a category B felony which carries a punishment of one to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, malicious destruction of property, or vandalism, carries penalties based on the value of the damage inflicted on the property.
Despite facing potential prison time, the suspect’s claims of mental illness may result in a different sentence, potentially including probation, a fine, and mental health rehabilitation. His sentencing is scheduled for December 18, 2023.
The incident, which occurred in January, resulted in the temporary disabling of the Mega Solar Array facility located north of Las Vegas. The suspect drove through the facility’s fence and allegedly set his car on fire before walking away. The extent of the damage caused to the facility is unclear, but it resumed operations a few weeks after the crime, following repair works.
Law enforcement identified the suspect through CCTV footage and detained him two days after the incident. The facility, operated by Invenergy, provides energy to MGM Resorts properties.