ASHEVILE, N.C. – James Ralph Brady, 55, of Cherokee, N.C. was sentenced to four years in prison on Thursday, Jan. 26 followed by five years of supervised release for the arson of a home that caused approximately $10,000 in damage, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. In addition to the prison term imposed, Brady was ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution.
Chief Carla Neadeau, of the Cherokee Indian Police Department (CIPD), joined U.S. Attorney King in making the announcement.
According to filed court documents, on July 25, 2021, a residential structural fire was reported at 37 Bob Owle Road in Cherokee. The residence is a single-wide trailer, and the fire was set to an exterior wall with damage done throughout the residence. Court records reveal that Brady was on house arrest on tribal charges (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians) at the time, and his ankle monitoring device pinged at the residence near the time the fire was discovered.
According to court documents, when Brady was questioned by CIPD officers, he admitted throwing an incendiary device commonly called a “Molotov cocktail” near the residence before it caught fire. Law enforcement records show that Brady thought his intended target lived at the residence but was mistaken and that he had no dispute with the actual victim. The victim was able to put the fire out but not before substantial damage was done to the home.
Brady is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.
In making the announcement U.S. Attorney King thanked the Cherokee Indian Police Department for their investigation of the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Pritchard of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville prosecuted the case.
- U.S. Dept. of Justice release