In an unexpected turn of events, alleged arsonist Anthony Baye pled guilty this morning to setting dozens of fires in Northampton, Massachusetts between 2007 and 2009, one which killed two people.
Baye was on trial in Springfield for murder and arson charges related to fifteen fires set in late 2009 . But in a deal reached by the prosecution and defense, Baye pled guilty to all counts, including additional arson indictments dating back to 2007, and two counts of murder were reduced to manslaughter. Baye’s motives for suddenly pleading guilty after a complicated, three year long court process are unclear. But Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan says Northampton is safer with the case resolved.
“We have a person who has stepped up to the plate today, admitted his guilt, and we know that there isn’t somebody at large that will create a public safety risk,” says Sullivan.
Baye’s defense attorneys declined to comment on the plea until after he is sentenced on Wednesday. Baye faces up to 20 years in prison for manslaughter, and an additional 15 years’ probation for arson charges.