The trial of alleged arsonist Anthony Baye of Northampton, Massachusetts inched forward today (Thursday) in Hampden Superior Court in Springfield.
State prosecutors and Baye’s defense lawyers met before Judge Constance Sweeney to set a new trial date for May 6th, 2013. Brett Vottero is a Special Prosecutor with the Northwestern District Attorney’s office. He says though the trial date is more than half a year away, he feels it was a necessary compromise between the prosecution and defense.
“Well, we’d hoped to try the case earlier, but there’s a lot to be done, there’s a lot of motions that we’re expecting to be filed, and we need to take the time to respond properly on behalf of the commonwealth. So I think both sides will be ready for a trial in May.”
In court, Vottero said the commonwealth hoped for the earliest possible trial date.
Anthony Baye is the sole suspect in a series of fires set in Northampton in 2007 and 2009. What prosecutors called a confession by Baye to state police was thrown out in May of this year by the state Supreme Judicial Court, over the use of problematic interrogation tactics. The Northwestern District Attorney’s office dropped charges against Baye in July, before re-arraigning him on a total of 42 counts, including murder charges for two men who died in one of the fires set in December 2009, and new indictments for fires set in 2007.
Defense lawyers for Anthony Baye argued for a later trial date because the new indictments make the case -quote- “entirely different.” The defense has until January 13th to file a motion to dismiss the case, among other motions. Vottero has until mid-March to respond to those motions, and hearings will begin April 1st.