MA Judge Hears Motion To Dismiss Anthony Baye Arson Case

A status hearing was held in Springfield, Massachusetts today (Tuesday) in the case of accused arsonist Anthony Baye. He is the Northampton man charged with setting more than two dozen fires in that city over a two year period that also killed two men. Superior Court Judge Constance Sweeney heard arguments over a series of motions filed by Baye’s lawyers in advance of his upcoming trial next month. They include one to dismiss a new murder and arson indictment against Baye stemming from a series of fires on December 27th 2009 that resulted in the deaths of a father and son, as well as other fires dating back to 2007. Last summer prosecutors dropped murder and arson charges against Baye after the state’s highest court ruled that part of his recorded interrogation by Northampton Police could not be used as evidence. A grand jury later re-indicted Baye on new charges.  But defense attorney David Hoose, who spoke on a cell phone following the hearing, says there is no evidence directly tying his client to all the fires.
“They have to show evidence that he committed these crimes. And our contention is all they’ve shown is that he’s nearby a lot of them.”
Also at issue, Hoose says, is whether Baye’s upcoming trial will be on the fires set on December 27 2009, or all the fires going back to 2007, or some combination. Hoose says he expects Judge Sweeney to decide on his motions by the next court appearance on April 26th in Springfield. Baye’s trial is scheduled to begin May 6th in Northampton. Because of pre-trial publicity in Hampshire County, the jury will be selected from a pool in neighboring Hampden County.