City hall arson suspect looted a 7-Eleven earlier that night, prosecutors say

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – In a court filing, federal prosecutors told a judge Courtland Renford, the man accused of throwing a fiery laundry basket through a Buffalo City Hall window during a May 30th protest, looted a 7-Eleven just 75 minutes earlier.

“The defendant was on the front lines of this effort to loot and cause damage to this 7-11,” prosecutors wrote, arguing Renford’s motive that night was to “cause destruction and mayhem in Buffalo, NY”.

In the filing, which was submitted in an attempt to keep Renford behind bars, prosecutors included surveillance pictures from inside the 7-Eleven. They were captured just after 10:10 p.m. Prosecutors say after leaving, Renford went toward Niagara Square. He is accused of throwing the lit laundry basket into city hall at about 11:25 p.m. that night.

Renford has been charged federally with arson of a building used in interstate commerce. He also faces charges in state court.

A federal magistrate judge has ruled Renford could be released on bond. Prosecutors appealed that decision. A hearing is currently scheduled for Wednesday.

“The risk to the community at large is minimal, in fact members of the community have demanded his release and actually given money toward that end,” argued Sam Davis, Renford’s attorney, to the judge.

Whether he is released on bond or not, Renford faces between five and 20 years in prison if convicted on his federal charge.

Chris Horvatits is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of his work here.

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