SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The man accused of burning down a popular Shreveport eatery where he was a manager has pleaded guilty and now awaits formal sentencing.
According to the Caddo District Attorney's Office, 29-year-old Carl R. Dollar, 29 pleaded guilty Tuesday before Judge Roy Brun to charges that he committed the arson of the Olive Street Bistro on Sept. 30, 2013.
Dollar had been charged with one count of simple arson resulting in damages amounting to more than $500,000. However, a statement from the DA's office explains that in recent months an additional charge of arson with intent to defraud was added.
"Dollar pled guilty as charged under an 'Alford' plea to Arson with the Intent to Defraud," Blewer said. "This plea is taken where the defendant admits there is sufficient evidence to convict him if he went to trial, but refuses to admit responsibility. This type of plea is a felony guilty plea that can be used for future multi-bill purposes."
Dollar's next court appearance will be May 25, 2016, when he will be sentenced to 18 months hard labor, a $5,000 fine and $1,700 in restitution. The restitution is for two companies that had property in the building at the time of the fire.
Dollar worked as restaurant manager for the restaurant that was owned by Fernando Maldonado. The popular eatery originally was founded as La Margarita in 1979 by Giuseppe Brucia and Vincent Campanella, was renamed in 1981 and was purchased by Maldonado in 2006. The eatery was featured in Kevin Costner's 2007 movie "Mr. Brooks."
Prosecutors were Ed Blewer and John Aaron Crawford. Defense counsel was Richard C. Goorley.