Newark man convicted of attempted aggravated arson

NEWARK, NJ — Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II announced Dec. 15 that an Essex County jury has convicted Delvin Wilson, 56, of Newark, of second-degree attempted aggravated arson and third-degree making terroristic threats.

On Oct. 13, 2021, at about 3:20 a.m., Wilson was captured on video surveillance attempting to set fire to the apartment building where his wife lived on 15th Avenue in Newark. The two were married but lived separately. As the video showed, Wilson poured motor oil on the exterior wall of her bedroom and tried to light the oil with a lighter. Prior to the attempted arson, Wilson left a voicemail on his wife’s cell phone stating he intended to set her building on fire. 

Superior Court Judge Arthur Batista presided over the two-day trial. After about three hours of deliberation, the jury convicted Wilson of both counts in the indictment. 

Wilson has seven prior felony convictions in New Jersey. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 3. Wilson faces more than a decade in New Jersey State Prison. 

“If this defendant successfully started a fire, he would have harmed his wife and everyone in the building,” said Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Dellera, who tried the case. “We are grateful that the jury reviewed the evidence and came to a just verdict. This verdict would not have been possible but for a brave victim, who was willing to come to court and face the individual who did this to her. I hope the verdict brings peace and a sense of security to the victim and her family.”