OCT. 19, 2008 - Investigators section off a portion of downtown Kansas City as they investigate a fire that broke out in the early-morning hours at Hereford House
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The former owner of the Kansas City landmark restaurant Hereford House faced judgment day in court on Monday.
Rod Anderson got 15 years in prison, the minimum punishment the judge could have imposed.
Anderson, a well-known man in the community, waved goodbye in handcuffs to his friends and family as he left the courtroom.
The 60-year-old won’t leave jail until he's 75. He'll be behind bars for arson and mail fraud.
In 2008, prosecutors say he hired Mark Sorentino and Vincent Pisciotta to torch his downtown Hereford House restaurant for insurance money.
Prosecutors argued for a tougher penalty because the restaurant exploded and put many people at risk.
Anderson says he's not guilty even though he was seen on his surveillance video.
One former employee, Gene O'Dell, cried in court and said he still believes his former boss is innocent.
"I believe in him. I love him. He's a dear friend. I absolutely believe in him," O’Dell said.
The judge sentenced Pisciotta, 59, to 20 years in prison without parole and Sorentino, 47, to 15 years in federal prison without parole.
The two will be serving time for conspiracy and arson.
Anderson will appeal his sentencing.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Host committees from Kansas City and at least a dozen other major cities across the country now know exactly what it will take to land the 2016 Republican National Convention.