VALPARAISO | Pleas of not guilty were entered Monday on behalf of an 18-year-old Portage man accused of setting fire to his neighbor's car using Molotov cocktails.
Kyle Feeney, of 6333 Lakewood, is charged with felony counts of arson and criminal mischief.
The arson charge alone carries a potential prison sentence of six to 20 years behind bars.
The victims told police that at 12:05 a.m. on Aug. 30, they heard an explosion outside their home. A few moments later they saw a glow and discovered their 2005 Mustang was on fire in the driveway.
The heat was also damaging a Saturn vehicle parked nearby, police said.
The couple told police there had been a recent incident of a young man acting suspiciously in the neighborhood. When police were called, the young man became angry, squealing his tires and giving an obscene gesture to the victims.
After identifying the young man as Feeney, police said they interviewed him and he admitted to partly filling two empty beer bottles with gasoline and stuffing rags in the necks of the bottles. Feeney reportedly told police he walked to the victims' home on the night in question, lit the rags and threw the bottles in the driveway.
The damage to the Mustang was estimated at $26,000. The car had aftermarket performance suspension parts and other upgrades, police said.
A trial was set in the case for June 3 before Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford, with preliminary hearings April 8 and May 6.