NEWS BRIEF: Java Monkey arsonist gets 10-year prison sentence plus probation

Former employee turned arsonist found guilty

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Photo credit: CL FILE
Java Monkey was burned down back in November 2018

The man who set fire to the popular Java Monkey coffee shop in Decatur will spend a decade in prison followed by 20 years on probation, a DeKalb County court ruled last week. Disgruntled ex-employee Ricky Thomas, 32, who eluded capture for months, was found guilty by jurors of first-degree arson, second-degree arson, second-degree criminal damage to property, and second-degree burglary.

The fire gutted the Church Street building on the night of Nov. 11, 2018 and the business was forced to close permanently. Other stores nearby also were damaged by the blaze. A Decatur mainstay for 25 years, Java Monkey doubled as a full bar and was famous for its poetry readings, live music shows and for displaying the work of local artists on its walls. Details: fox5atlanta.com