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Victim’s Widow, Mother Speaks During First Day of Testimony in Baye Trial


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Emotional testimony Friday at the Anthony Baye murder and arson trial.

Baye is accused of setting 15 fires in Northampton on December 27, 2009, including one that took two lives, those of Paul Yeskie Sr. and his son, Paul Jr.

Among those taking the stand during the first day of testimony was Elaine Yeskie, whose husband and son died in the Dec. 27, 2009 fire at their Fair Street home.

“I see my flowers I put in,” says Yeskie.

Elaine Yeskie fights back the tears as she takes the witness stand and begins to describe the house she lived in at 17 Fair Street before it was destroyed by fire.

Her husband and son died in the fire.

Prosecutors say Anthony Baye set that fire, along with 14 others that night.

During earlier testimony, the jury heard the 911 call from Paul Yeskie Jr.

  • Dispatcher: This is public safety
  • Yeskie: I got fire in the house
  • Dispatcher: Where?
  • Yeskie: 17 Fair Street
  • Dispatcher: Fair…is everyone out of building,
  • Yeskie: I can’t get out of here,
  • Dispatcher: You can’t get out.
  • Yeskie: There’s a big fire on the porch

Elaine Yeskie described that after going to bed, she suddenly was awaken. “I just heard a loud screaming. I thought it was my radio,” she adds.

She then started to head downstairs where her husband and son were.

“I went downstairs. I was three stairs from the door. My husband opened up and said ‘Go upstairs and call the fire department.'”

She tried to call but the line was dead.

Elaine Yeskie was able to get out of the house through a second floor exit, then tried to locate her husband and son.

“I went to go around to see where Paul and Paulie were. I went to the driveway and all these sparks like lightning came out of electrical wiring.”

Yeskie then says she got to Bridge Street, but doesn’t remember how and then the reality set in that her husband and son were gone.

“…but when I got up there, my so-called friend Carol LaPointe told I heard somebody coughing in the bathroom and I knew that if they were in the bathroom, they were not coming up the hill.”

Elaine Yeskie still lives at 17 Fair Street in a new house that was built after the old one burned down.

Testimony concluded for the week around 3:30 p.m. Friday with testimony from State Police Fire Investigator Michael Mazza who said the Fair street fire started on the porch and was intentionally set by an open flames. The prosecution contends that Anthony Baye used a cigarette lighter to start the fires.

Testimony resumes in the case Monday morning.


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