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Cell phone screen saver picture leads detectives to man who threw Molotov cocktail at ex-girlfriend's home

One man arrested, another wanted after throwing Molotov cocktail at Chestertown home.jpg
Posted at 10:15 AM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 10:18:21-04

CHESTERTOWN, Md. — A Delaware man has pleaded guilty to throwing a Molotov cocktail at his ex-girlfriend's home in an attempt to burn it down while she and her family were inside sleeping.

The incident occurred October 14 last year in the Chester Harbor community in northern Queen Anne's County.

Investigators caught a break when they found a cell phone at the scene of the fire.

The screen saver on the phone happened to be a picture of Mardell Adkins' girlfriend.

Adkins later told detectives that he drove a man named Edward Gaines to the home where he watched him throw the explosive device.

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Turns out the cocktail was ignited from a plastic Snapple bottle that was filled with gasoline.

Authorities were able to recover surveillance footage from a nearby Royal Farms that captured Gaines purchasing the bottle then emptying it and filling it with gasoline.

Fortunately the victims were able to call 911 and make it out of the home safely.

Gaines allegedly had threatened to burn the woman's house down in the past.

He now faces up to 25 years behind bars. Sentencing has been scheduled for August 16.

As for Adkins, he accepted a plea deal and has been sentenced to 126 days in jail.

Queen Anne's County State's Attorney Lance Richardson called the crime a "nefarious and evil scheme."