Anthony Baye Trial Day 7
8:57 a.m. Fred Contrada signing to for coverage of Anthony Baye trial for Masslive and The Republican. There is buzz about a possible plea. Waiting for the judge and jury.
Monday May 13, 2013 8:58 
9:03 a.m. I received an email this morning from the Northwestern DA;'s office saying there are "significant developments" in the case and advising that this is a good day to be in court. I'm told confidentialy that there may be a plea. DA David Sullivan is here.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:05 
9:04 a.m. It's possible that a new witness came forward with information that could change the case. That could be driving the possible plea, although this remains rumor for now.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:06 
9:06 a.m. I can tell you this. The courtroom is full of police, witnesses and prosecutors. There is definitely something in the air.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:07 
9:07 a.m. Sullivan, Vottero, Thomas and Townsend are pow-wowing at the prosecution table. Hoose, Baye and Lesser are sitting quietly and staring straight ahead.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:09 
9:10 a.m. Usually the witnesses are sequestered until closing arugments, but Mrs. Yeskie, Naomi Cairns and other witnesses are here. Another sign something is up.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:12 
9:11 a.m. Judge Sweeney has entered. The clerk is announcing the case. Sweeney says the jury is being held in their room for the moment. Vottero says the parties have reached an agreement as to the resolution of all the charges,
Monday May 13, 2013 9:13 
9:12 a.m. Vottero says defense will enter guilty plea to all 48 counts. On the murder counts they will plead to manslaughter.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:14 
9:13 a.m. Vottero says the intimidation of a witnesses charges will result in time served. 19-20 years in prison for the deaths of the Yeskies.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:14 
9:14 a.m. Vottero on the remaining counts Baye will serve 15 years probation after he serves his sentence. He must undergo counseling, no illegal drug use, electronic monitoring.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:18 
9:17 a.m. Vottero asks if Sweeney will defer sentencing to Wednesday in Hampshire County. She agrees. The court will now conduct a colloquoy of Baye.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:19 
9:19 a.m. During the colloquoy, Vottero will state his evidendce and the judge will ask Baye is he agrees that this is true. If he says yes, she will accept his guilty plea.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:21 
9:20 a.m. The maximum sentenced for armed burglary is life in prison. The prosecution is rolling this into the probation period.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:22 
9:21 a.m. Arson is 20 years max. Again this will be probation.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:22 
9:22 a.m. The judge is getting from Vottero the potential sentences for all the charges against Baye, e.g., burning a motor vehicle, attempt to burn a motor vehicle.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:24 
9:23 a.m. Again, I don't know at the moment the reason for the plea. They will probably not state this in open court but I will try to find out.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:25 
9:24 a.m. There are 42 counts in all against Baye. He is pleading guilty to all of them, with the exception that he is pleading guilty to manslaughter in the deaths of Paul Yeskie, Sr. and Paul Yeskie, Jr. in lieu of first degree murder. Murder one is life in prison without possibility of parole. They are accepting a sentence of 19-20 years in prison for the manslaughter.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:27 
9:26 a.m. Baye is being sworn in, is taking the witness stand. Judge Sweeney will aks him the standard questions in the case of a plea. She will enumerate what rights he is giving up. Baye says he attended 1 1/2 years of community college, worked in the food industry, says he never suffered from a mental illness, is not under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the moment.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:29 
9:28 a.m. Sweeney is going through the charges one by one and telling him the maximum penalty for each. 2 manslaughter. 6 intimidation of a witness (misleading police). armed burglary. arson of a dwelling. burning a motor vehicle. attempt to burn a motor vehicle. arson of a building. attempt to burn a dwelling. He understand it all. Sweeney says she could sentence him to the maximum for each but is heeding the agreement between the prosecution and defense.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:32 
9:32 a.m. If Sweeney gives him a longer sentence than the agreement, Baye can withdraw his guilty plea. On the manslaughter charges, the max is 20 years. The recommendation is 19-20 on each count. Baye understands. He seems composed. The proceedings have the attention of everyone in court.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:35 
9:34 a.m. Sweeney enumerates the maximum sentences for the other charges. The agreed recommendation is that these all be wrapped into the 15 years probation, which would begin after he completes his prison sentence.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:36 
9:36 a.m. If Baye violates any laws during his probation it could trigger the prison sentences on the other charges.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:38 
9:38 a.m. Baye is 28. He would be about 48 by the time he completes his sentence. He then must abide by the terms of probation for 15 years at the risk of going back to jail.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:40 
9:40 a.m. I can only guess the emotions in the courtroom. There must be relief, sorrow, pain and, in Baye's case, lots of anxiety. No one is showing anything, however.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:41 
9:41 a.m. Having the sentencing in Northampton will allow people from the affected neighborhoods to attend more conveniently. Elaine Yeskie uses a cane to get around and moves slowly. The sentencing will be anticlimactic in that we already know what the sentence will be (unless Judge Sweeney has a different idea of this, in which case Baye could withdraw his plea and go to trial). However, the sentencing will also be an opportunity for the victims, like Mrs. Yeskie, to address the court.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:45 
9:44 a.m. There is a good deal of process to carry out, enumerating all the charges and potential sentences. Sweeney will also explain to Baye what rights he is giving up by pleading guilty (e.g., his right to a trial by his peers).
Monday May 13, 2013 9:47 
9:46 a.m. With Baye pleading to these charges, there remains the question of the 2007 fires and the five fires in 2009 previous to Dec. 27. I would be surprised if these charges are dropped. The defense would no doubt ask for this and the prosecution doesn't really need them any more with Baye in prison.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:48 
9:48 a.m. We'll see what Baye has to say after Vottero recites the evidence. We might never know what everyone wants to know: why he did this.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:49 
9:49 a.m. For the manslaughter sentences Baye would receive credit for time served from his arrest to the time he was reindicted. Does Baye understand? Yes, says Baye. His attorneys have explained this all to him previously. Sweeney is now explaining the rights he is giving up.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:53 
9:52 a.m. Vottero is about to recite the evidence he has. If Baye denies any of it, the judge can throw the plea out and order the case to go to trial. I have seen this happen, but it seems unlikely here.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:55 
9:54 a.m. Vottero stands. This will be long because there are so many charges. Dec. 27, 2009, fire at 17 Fair claimed the lives of the Yeskies. Intentionally started on the porch. Three motor vehicles that belonged to the Yeskies were also destroyed. Sweeney asks Baye if he committed those crimes. He says yes.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:57 
9:56 a.m. Vottero: 26 Union St. fire, intentionally started on porch by Baye. Baye admits.
10 Highland Ave. fire started on porch, set by Baye. Baye admits.
Monday May 13, 2013 9:59 
9:58 a.m. Attempt to burn motor vehicle on Highland. 32 Highland Ave. fire on porch, set by Baye. 2 motor vehicles at 25 Williams St. burned. 16 Pomeroy Terrace car fire. 16 Northern Ave. fire, car, garage. 11 Crescent St. attempted fire, car fire. Baye admits to it all.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:04 
10:03 a.m. In 15 minutes on the stand, Anthony Baye is dispelling all the mystery and uncertainty about Northampton's most horrifying night.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:04 
10:04 a.m. 5 Crescent St. 117 Franklin St. car fires. Baye admits.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:06 
10:06 a.m. 36 Henry St. car fire. 42 Fruit St. car fire. It's amazing (if that's the right word) now that he is admitting the crimes, how Baye caused all this mayhem in so short a time on a rainy night with a cigarette lighter.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:08 
10:07 a.m. Jan. 19, 2007, fire on 67 Hawley St. (apparently Baye is admitted to these other fires as well). Jan. 22, 2007, trash fire on Hawley St. Baye admits. (He is now clearing up the mystery of his neighborhood's long, frightening history of fires). Nov. 11, 2007, car fire at 61 Hawley St. (Baye lived at 65 Hawley St.) Dec. 7, 2007, car fire at 79 Hawley St. Another at 89 Market St. same day. Same day 3rd car fire at 15 Summer St. Baye admits.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:12 
10:12 a.m. This neighborhood had been beset by unexplained fires for years. Baye is admitting to most of them now. May 2, 2009, car fire at 5 Eastern Ave. Later that morning an attempted fire at 75 Hawley St in a trash can. Yes, says Baye.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:15 
10:14 a.m. Aug. 28, 2009, car fire at 79 Hawley St. Baye. Sept. 7, 2009, car fire at 46 Cherry St. A second car damaged. Baye admits to these fires.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:17 
10:16 a.m. Nov. 10, 2009, 11 Hancock St. fire. Baye. Baye stopped twice on Dec. 27 by police. Misled them with a false alibi. These are the intimidating a witness charges, a subset of which is intentionally misleading police in the course of an investigation. 4 more counts of this during other interviews with police. Baye admits to all his lies.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:20 
10:20 a.m. I'll have to total up the fires, but it appears Baye has admitted to setting virtually every suspicious fire in and around Ward 3 over a period of three years.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:22 
10:21 a.m. Baye says he is pleading guilty because he is in fact guilty.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:25 
10:24 a.m. Sweeney accepts Baye's plea. Tells him he must surrender an DNA sample as part of the process.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:26 
10:25 a.m. Baye is formally pleading guilty to the various separate charges. He is standing, steady. Not defiant but unwavering.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:27 
10:26 a,m. His parents are here watching. I don't know what they are feeling. They seem composed.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:28 
10:27 a.m. Baye steps down from the stand.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:29 
10:29 a.m. Vottero asks again to delay sentencing to Wednesday in Northampton. No objection by defense. 9:30 a.m. says Judge Sweeney. She will now bring in the jury and formally excuse them.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:32 
10:31 A.M. Jury has entered. Sweeney says there's been a significant change in the case, that Baye has pled guilty. Some of the jurors look a bit stunned. He has pled guilty to close to 50 charges relating to fires in Northampton, Sweeney says. She says the sentencing will be in Northampton. It is not my practice to take pleas if I don't believe I should accept the recommendation, she says.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:35 
10:34 a.m. Sweeney explains Baye will get 19-20 for manslaughter.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:36 
10:35 a.m. As soon as we're done in court I will go off line and try to get an explanation about the plea.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:36 
[Comment From eddie eddie : ] 
Do u think any good will come from this
Monday May 13, 2013 10:37 eddie
10:36 a.m. Clarification, Relief. Good, I'm not sure.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:37 
10:37 a.m. Sweeney thanks jury for their efforts. Calls them a blue ribbon jury. The judge calls this "a fair resolution of this matter." She formally excuses them.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:40 
10:39 a.m. I will go off now. We will be blogging again during the sentencing.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:41 
[Comment From sharon sharon : ] 
He never said "why" he did it?
Monday May 13, 2013 10:43 sharon
From the newsroom: @Sharon -- it doesn't appear that he gave a reason in open court. We'll see if any further explanation emerges during Fred's continued reporting today.
Monday May 13, 2013 10:44 
From the newsroom: Thanks for reading this morning, folks. As Fred mentioned, we'll pick up the live coverage at Wednesday's sentencing.

Fred will continue his reporting at Hampden Superior Court now, aided by staff writer Jack Flynn. We'll post any new details they gather to MassLive.

- Greg Saulmon
Monday May 13, 2013 10:46 
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