SPRINGFIELD (WGGB) — A dramatic turn of events Monday as Anthony Baye pleads guilty to arson and manslaughter charges.
Baye was arrested shortly after more than a dozen fires terrorized the Ward 3 section of Northampton on the night of December 27, 2009.
The trial was set to enter its third day of testimony Monday in Hampden County Superior Court when the plea agreement, which had been reached between the prosecution and Baye’s defense team, was announced.
Baye pleaded guilty to all 48 counts against him, including two charges of manslaughter. The manslaughter charges were for the deaths of Paul Yeskie Sr. and his son, Paul Jr. after fire tore through their Fair Street home that December night.
All total, Baye pleaded guilty to setting 27 separate fires from 2007 to 2009.
“Within a period of an hour in court today we have all the fires we have alleged Anthony Baye set that have been resolved for a guilty plea,” says Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan.
D.A. Sullivan says justice was achieved in the plea agreement.
Sullivan also had a message for the people of Northampton.
“The citizens of Northampton can sleep well tonight knowing that the person who not only set fires on Dec. 27, 2009, but throughout 2009 and 2007 will now be confined and no longer be a public safety risk,” says Sullivan.
The prosecution is recommending that Baye serve 19 to 20 years on each of the manslaughter charges. On the armed burglary charges, the sentence being recommended is probation and random drug testing.
Judge Constance Sweeney also read the sentencing recommendations on the arson charges, which is probation once Baye completes his sentence on the manslaughter charges.
Baye also pleaded guilty to fires that happened in Northampton back in 2007.
Sentencing is set for Wednesday in Hampshire Superior Court in Northampton.