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Beer can helps solve arson, Louisa man faces 120 years

William Drymond mugshot via Albermarle police, from 2011.

William Drymond mugshot via Albermarle police, from 2011.

LOUISA, Va. (WTVR)–William C. Drymond, 27, of Louisa entered guilty to nine felony charges including:  two counts of grand larceny of an automobile, one count of arson of an automobile, two counts of grand larceny, two counts of felony petty larceny, one count of attempting to sell stolen goods, and one count of perjury.

In a press release submitted to the publice, Rusty McGuire, Louisa Commonwealth’s Attorney detailed how the string of incidents and evidence became connected to Drymond.

On April 12, 2013, a Toyota Highlander was stolen from Albemarle County.  A day later it was found ablaze in Louisa County.  Outside of the inferno was a Bud Light beer can.  Once the fire department extinguished the fire, Detective Mark Stanton found charred Bud Light beer cans in the Highlander.

Detective Stanton submitted the unique identifiers on the cans to the manufacturer.  The manufacturer determined the cans were both made in the same facility within a 15 minute time frame.  The can found outside the car was sent to the state forensic lab.  The lab identified Drymond’s DNA on the can.

On April 15, Drymond was found in proximity to another stolen vehicle that went missing from a house less than one-half of a mile where the Highlander was recovered.  The second vehicle contained numerous stolen items that had been taken from cars parked at hotels in the Albemarle/Charlottesville area.

Detective Stanton also recovered numerous documents belonging to Drymond from a recent incarceration at the Central Virginia Regional Jail.  A blood stain from the vehicle was sent to the state forensic lab and again the lab identified the DNA from that sample as Drymond’s.

On July 15, Drymond came to court and testified under oath that he lived with his father and worked for his brother.  He was granted a bond and the Commonwealth was concerned he was a flight risk.  Drymond was under surveillance at the jail when the Commonwealth learned that he lied about living with his father and working for his brother.  In one phone conversation at the jail, Drymond pleaded with his sister to post his bail, saying he would never be found and “catch me, catch me if you can,” assumingly referring to himself as the gingerbread man.

He was immediately served with the charge of perjury and held without bond.

“This morning, William Drymond acknowledged the consequences of his actions,” said Adam Ward, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney, who prosecuted the case.  “Mr. Drymond engaged in a pattern of criminal behavior that resulted in financial loss to families and individuals throughout central Virginia; today those families received justice.  We are thankful to Detective Stanton and the other deputies from the Sheriff’s Office for making these convictions possible through their hard work and dedication.”

Drymond is set to be sentenced by the Louisa County Circuit Court on March 3, 2014, and he faces up to 120 years in prison.