FARMINGTON — A Massachusetts man pleaded guilty Thursday to intentionally burning two homes in Carthage and Wilton on June 27, 2015, and breaking into three Franklin County convenience stores three days later. 

Duane Bailey, 28, of Carver, Mass., entered guilty pleas to two felony counts of arson for setting fire to a home at 9 Sewall St. in Wilton owned by Kandi Ward of Roxbury, and a summer home on Winter Hill Road in Carthage belonging to Gene and Andrea Casey of Mexico, according to court documents.

Two felony counts of arson and one felony count of conspiracy to commit arson at an apartment building in Wilton were dismissed in the plea agreement.

The maximum punishment for each arson conviction is up to 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. The conviction on each burglary charge is punishable by up to five years in prison, a $5,000 fine and two years of probation.

Bailey also pleaded guilty to three counts of felony burglary and two misdemeanor counts of theft in Franklin County Superior Court. He broke into Skoolhouse Variety in Weld late June 30, and My Dad’s Place in Jay and Our Village Market in New Vineyard in the early-morning hours of July 1, according to court documents. Tobacco products and alcohol were among the items stolen.

Bailey is one of four people charged in the arson and burglary cases.


According to state fire investigator Kenneth G. MacMaster’s affidavit filed with the court this past summer, one or two of the defendants had an “alleged grudge” with a resident of an apartment building on Main Street in Wilton. When defendants couldn’t get close to that building because of barking dogs, they decided to burn a single-family home on Sewall Street, behind the Main Street building. The defendants had hopes that the fire would spread to the apartment building, which had several children and adults living in it, according to fire investigators.

Bailey admitted to carrying the gas can and lighting the Wilton and Carthage homes on fire, according to the affidavit.

D’Kota Rowe, 21, of Wilton, a co-defendant in both cases, waived his right to a jury trial Friday in favor of a bench trial before Justice William Stokes on April 26 on four felony arson charges and a felony charge of criminal conspiracy to commit arson. If the trial does not conclude that day, it will continue on April 29. Rowe has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Rowe’s charges in the convenience store burglaries will be put on the June trial list, Stokes said. Rowe has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Einer Bonilla, 22, of Grand Island, Neb., another co-defendant in the arson and burglary cases, pleaded guilty Tuesday to three felony counts of burglary and two misdemeanor counts of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer in the convenience store burglaries.

Bonilla was arrested on the arson charges in March but has not been indicted on those charges, which were not taken up Tuesday.

A fourth co-defendant, Devon Pease, 23, of Jay, faces charges in the intentional burning of the Wilton home and break-ins at the convenience stores. He has not had his cases resolved. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Once the four defendants’ cases are resolved, they are expected to be sentenced at the same time, if found guilty. No date has been set.

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