After more than three hours of deliberations, a Knox County jury found Robert Swint guilty of attempted aggravated arson, aggravated assault, and felonious assault on Thursday afternoon. Swint, 38, of Mount Vernon, was acquitted of a fourth charge of attempted murder. The charges stemmed from a November 2020 incident in which Swint attempted to set fire to the tent of a homeless victim and struck the victim in the head with a machete. The victim and a witness from the scene testified, as did Swint. The case was investigated by Knox County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dan Selby and Detective Lt. Craig Feeney. Prosecutor Chip McConville presented to case to the jury.
“It is important to remember that while it may be unseen by many, homelessness is an issue in Knox County,” McConville said. “Crimes against homeless victims need to be vigorously prosecuted, and taken to trial when necessary.”
Swint faces potential sentences of 2-8 years on the attempted aggravated arson and felonious assault charges, and a sentence of 6-18 months on the aggravated assault. Judge Richard Wetzel set the sentencing date for March 25.