Northwestern DA Drops Arson, Murder Charges Against Anthony Baye

The Northwestern District Attorney in Western Massachusetts has thrown out most of the charges against suspected arsonist Anthony Baye. Baye was charged with arson and murder in connection with a series of fires set in Northampton in late 2009, including one of that killed a father and son. But Baye is still being charged with misleading investigators.

The District Attorney’s decision comes on the heels of a ruling by the state’s Supreme Judicial Court. The court determined in late May that Anthony Baye’s confession to state police could not be used as evidence against him because police misled Baye during an interrogation.

David Hoose is Baye’s attorney. He says the DA’s decision to throw out the arson and murder charges speaks to the weakness of the state’s evidence.

“After the Supreme Judicial Court threw out the purported confession of Mr. Baye, the District Attorney was quick to say ‘we’ll have a strong case,’ and I think that this proves just the opposite.”

The DA’s office has announced there will be a new Grand Jury investigation to determine whether new charges can be filed against Baye in connection to a series of Northampton fires in 2007, in addition to the fires of 2009. Brett Votero is an assistant district attorney in the Northwestern District Attorney’s office.

“We think it’s appropriate to have a Grand Jury to hear all of the evidence about all 27 fires that took place in Northampton, and allow this Grand Jury to decide whether those fires were related, and if so, who was responsible for them.”

Baye was held on a $150,000 bail on charges of misleading authorities investigating the fires.