VALPARAISO | A Porter County jury found a New Chicago man guilty Thursday of starting a fire inside his former girlfriend's car and intimidating her after she broke up with him.
Brandon Scroggin, 28, was convicted of felony arson, intimidation and receiving stolen auto parts and misdemeanor criminal mischief.
The jury also found Scroggin to be a habitual offender based on earlier Lake County convictions for auto theft, failure to return to lawful detention and possession of stolen property. Habitual offender status is sought by prosecutors to enhance a sentence.
Sentencing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Sept. 7 before Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa.
The former girlfriend in the latest case told Portage police she broke up with Scroggin on March 10. He moved out and was dropped off at a relative's house in New Chicago.
Scroggin began calling her and sending text messages begging her to take him back and threatened she would be sorry if she didn't respond, court records state.
The calls waned until 3:52 a.m. when Scroggin called again and said he had stolen a vehicle from a bar, police said. The woman told police Scroggin also said he set fire to her car and damaged her mother's vehicle.
The woman later discovered there had been a fire in the glove box area of her car that spread to the dashboard, causing the windshield to crack and the overhead console to melt.
Prosecutors described Scroggin this week as a controlling boyfriend.