Kearney Man Given 90 Days, 4 Years Probation in Attempted Arson Case

Brad Gladwell

A 45-year-old Kearney man has been sentenced for the attemptedarson of his home while his two roommates slept inside.

Brad Gladwell wassentenced Monday in Buffalo County District Court to 90 days in jailand 4 years of probation, in addition to the 54 days he has alreadyserved.

He was arrested in Januaryafter authorities responded to a strong smell of gas at his Kearney home.Police found that he had poured gasoline on the top floor of his house and wasplanning to set it on fire.

Gladwell initially pleaded notguilty to two counts of attempted homicide and attempted arson, but last monthprosecutors agreed to drop the attempted homicide charges in exchange for the ano contest plea.

In an interview with NTV Newsback in January, Gladwell's then roommate, Tiffany Harris, described waking upin the middle of the night to the overwhelming smell of gasoline fumes fillingtheir house.

"I woke Danny up and said,'Danny, what is that smell?' And he jumped up and he said, 'It smells likegas," she said, "and he started messing with the stove and I waslike, 'It's not propane. It smells like gasoline or kerosene.'"

She says she knew immediatelythat Gladwell was to blame.

"I knew he had donesomething, because he had been doing a lot of stuff lately, like messing withthe furnace and stuff like that, so I knew that he had done something,"she said.

According to court records,Gladwell was depressed because his house at 18 East 29th St. was beingforeclosed on, so he doused the top floor and himself with gasoline – allin an attempt to commit suicide.

But Harris suspected Gladwellhad another reason for attempting to set the blaze.

"He has homeownersinsurance, so he planned on burning the house down to pay for his home,"she said.

In court Monday, Gladwell'sattorney, Daniel Stockman, blamed what he called an adjustment disorder, mildautism and childhood abuse for his client's actions.

But the state argued that evenafter going through counseling, Gladwell still refused to accept responsibilityfor what he did.

Gladwell spoke out in court,telling the judge that he has since moved to Omaha and is trying to turn hislife around.

"I feel like I'm trying tomake a better life for myself...I'd like to try to start over in Omaha...I feellike I'm improving."

The house he tried to torch nowsits vacant, with a notice of foreclosure on the front door dated Jan.16.

Gladwell will complete his jailtime at the Buffalo County Detention Center. In addition, the judge ordered himto undergo counseling and complete a financial program as part of his sentence.

NTV News attempted to reach outto his former roommates, but both of their numbers have been disconnected.