FARMINGTON — A Franklin County justice found a Wilton man guilty Friday of torching a Roxbury woman’s double-wide mobile home in Wilton and a camp in Carthage owned by a Mexico couple.

Justice William Stokes said that D’Kota Rowe, 21, was in the driver’s seat when he drove co-defendants to both places in the early-morning hours that day.

“He provided and controlled the transportation of (Duane) Bailey and (Einer) Bonilla and the gas can,” he said.

Stokes found him guilty as an accomplice in both arson cases.

The decision follows a two-day, jury-waived trial before Stokes on April 26 and 29 in Franklin County Superior Court. Assistant District Attorney Joshua Robbins presented the case for the state and defense attorney, Christopher Berryment presented Rowe’s case.

The fires were lit during a night of partying on two gallons of a concoction called Caribou Lou made up rums, including 151 percent rum, heroin, Ecstasy, marijuana and Percoset. The group drove the back roads of Franklin County, according to testimony during the trial.

On the morning of his trial, Rowe pleaded guilty to a felony charge of conspiracy to commit arson on June 27 because of a beef with a resident at an apartment building Main Street in Wilton. The plan was thwarted when a barking dog and a light came on in the building and scared away Bonilla, 22, of Grand Island, Neb., and Bailey, 28, formerly of Massachusetts.

Rowe waited in his car that was backed into the Sewall Street property of Kandi Ward of Roxbury, in Wilton. Another co-defendant, Devon Pease, 23, of Jay, was also in the car.

According to Rowe, at that point, Bonilla and Bailey, who were “blacked out drunk,” announced that they were going to set fire to the Sewall Street structure. He told state fire investigators Kenneth MacMaster and Greg Day of the Office of the State Fire Marshal that Bonilla and Bailey acted so quickly in setting the mobile home on fire that he and Pease could “not even like say, ‘No, it’s a bad idea; we shouldn’t do it.’”

Initially, Rowe told investigators he had no idea what they were talking about in regard to the Carthage and Wilton fires. When he did talk, he put most of the blame on Bailey and Bonilla, according to Stokes, as he read his verdict.

Rowe also told investigators that he was forced to do what he did because Bailey and Bonilla threatened to hurt him and Pease if they told on them.

Rowe acknowledged to investigators that he watched Bailey and Bonilla as they poured gas around the front and side of Ward’s trailer, lit a piece of paper on fire, dropped and ran back to the car, with Bailey putting the gas can in the back of the vehicle.

As the gas lit up and then like started trailing down the side of the trailer,” the defendant said, he yelled to Bonilla and Bailey to get in the car and “we flew to my house,” according to testimony.

Once the Wilton home was on fire, the four left and Pease was dropped off, leaving Rowe, Bonilla and Bailey in the car.

Rowe told investigators that he couldn’t remember much because he was so drunk and finally admitted that he drove them to Carthage, where the other two burned down a camp. Stokes found that Rowe greatly exaggerated his loss of memory.

In the case of the Wilton arson, there is no evidence that Rowe is guilty as a principal, namely, the one who started the fire, Stokes said.

Regarding the fire at the Casey property in Carthage, the only conceivable evidence that Rowe started the fire was Bailey’s testimony of not knowing who started the fire, but it amounts to conjecture and guesswork and cannot support a conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt that Rowe started that fire and is guilty of that arson as a principal, Stokes said.

Sentencing was set for June 7.

Robbins argued that Rowe was found guilty and should be taken into custody Friday and held without bail.

Berryment said Rowe showed up for every appearance and that he wanted to attend his stepfather’s burial service in Calais on Saturday.

Stokes allowed Rowe to remain free until sentencing.

There was already $7,500 cash bail posted.

Stokes amended curfew conditions for Rowe to be at his home in Wilton from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., except on May 20 and 21 to allow him to attend his stepfather’s services.

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Other co-defendants in the arson cases of Carthage and Wilton have resolved cases:

• Duane Bailey, 28, formerly of Massachusetts, pleaded guilty to two counts of arson in April. He was sentenced to serve to 12 years in prison with all but 46 months suspended, and four years probation for burning the properties of Ward and the Caseys.

• Devon Pease, 23, of Jay pleaded guilty in April to a felony charge of aggravated criminal mischief for his part in a Wilton arson case. He was sentenced to five years in prison with all but six months suspended, followed by two years probation.

• Einer Bonilla, 22, of Grand Island, Neb., has not had his arson charges resolved.


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