Articles Posted in Arson

On May 23, 2016, Roslindale residents were shocked to awaken in the middle of the night to a fire at the nearby elementary school, according to the Boston Globe. The playground at the Charles Sumner Elementary School was intentionally set on fire. The fire spread from the playground to nearby trees and powerlines, but local firefighters were able to stop the blaze before it got out of control. Arson is suspected.

arson

Arson

A smaller fire had been set at the same playground a few weeks earlier, but that first fire had not been linked to any particular perpetrator. However, three suspects were apprehended for the fire that occurred on May, 23 – two teenagers and an adult. The fire caused more than ten thousand dollars worth of damage to the playground. The suspects have been charged with intentionally setting a fire, arson. Continue reading

Kathleen Hilton was held in custody for ten years before an Essex County jury acquitted her of first degree murder. Hilton was charged with arson and murder of five people following a fire that tore through a triple decker home in Lynn, Massachusetts. Experienced Boston criminal defense attorney Michael Natola secured the not guilty verdict following delays which he described as “of monumental proportion” over the suppression of the confession that Mrs. Hilton gave to police. Further adding to the delay was litigation relative to Hilton’s competence.

During an interview with New England Cable News, retired Superior Court Justice Isaac Borenstein maintained that in this case, the court system took too long. Judge Borenstein was involved in some of the pre-trial hearings in this case and recognized that the case should not have taken ten years to go to trial. According to New England Cable News, Borenstein believes that the Massachusetts Court system has made strides to ensure that criminal cases move more quickly through the system.

In Massachusetts, a case must be tried within one year of a defendant’s arraignment. However, routine pre-trial delays, including a defendant’s motion to suppress evidence and motion to suppress statements are generally excludable time periods and do not count towards the one year period. However, the time that a case languishes in a session following a hearing, provided experienced trial counsel pushes for a decision, in certain situations may be included in the one year time frame.

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