Justin Agosta, the ECHL player charged with second-degree arson after burning love letters from an ex-girlfriend, has had his case dismissed because there was insufficient evidence. Agosta, 25, has eight goals and 16 points in 24 games.
It’s not often an ECHL blueliner makes headlines, but Florida Everblades defenseman Justin Agosta was at the center of one of the most bizarre stories of the season thus far when he was arrested on charges of arson after setting love letters from an ex-girlfriend ablaze.
The charges against Agosta and details of the incident became public in mid-January. According to the Naples Daily News, Agosta burned the letters on his porch because he was “upset with his girlfriend.” He allegedly used gas to douse the letters and the fire got out of control, setting off sprinklers at his apartment as the flames approached the building.
Agosta was charged with second-degree arson and released after paying a $50,000 bond, according to News-Press.com’s Craig Handel.
Agosta’s attorney, Michael Hornung, said the charges were dropped because there wasn’t enough evidence against Agosta.
“Based on Florida law and the facts in this case, we had both going for us,” Hornung told THN. “We had not only the facts which would support not going forward with a second-degree felony arson case, but we also have the law on our side. It would be very difficult for them to establish the willful and malicious factors that one needs to go forward with those charges.”
Agosta was kept out of his apartment following the arrest, but was allowed back in once the charges were dropped.
“He had a real burning desire to put this unfortunate incident behind him involving the letters of an old flame,” Hornung said.
Agosta only missed one game, Jan. 9, following the charges. He has eight goals and 16 points in 24 games this season, as well as suiting up for eight games in the AHL with the Charlotte Checkers. In his eight AHL appearances, Agosta has one assist. Agosta signed a two-way AHL deal with the Checkers after completing four years in the NCAA. He spent the first three campaigns of his college career with University of New Hampshire before transferring to Quinnipiac Universtiy for his final season.
This story was updated Feb. 1.