crimesider

Michael Pilato, N.Y. teen, convicted of murdering father, two brothers, by setting house on fire

Michael Pilato CBS affiliate WROC

Michael Pilato
WROC
(CBS) ROCHESTER, N.Y.- A jury has found 16-year-old Michael Pilato guilty of murder for setting his family's home near Rochester, N.Y. on fire and killing his father and two brothers, reported CBS affiliate WROC.

The station said Pilato used gasoline to start the December 2011 blaze that killed 71-year-old Carmen Pilato, 16-year-old Peter Pilato, and 12-year-old Joshua Pilato, and injured the teen's mother and 13-year-old sister.

The jury found that Pilato intentionally set the fire, as argued by Sandra Doorley, the District Attorney. However, the defendant's mother, Elaine Pilato, maintains that he did not do it on purpose. 

WROC said that the Pilato's mother attended every day of his trial and even paid for his attorneys even though she had to escape from her bedroom window after her son set the house on fire. She cried when the judge read the verdict, reported the station.

One of Pilato's defense attorneys said that his client was experiencing "extreme emotional disturbance" at the time of the incident, said WROC.

Elaine Pilato said, "I am disgusted that they would not allow the extreme emotional disturbance because I don't know how you can see those tapes and not see a disturbed youngster," reported the station.

After the verdict came down, Doorley said, "We feel that the jury spent a long time reviewing all the facts and we feel that this was a fair verdict based on all of the evidence," Doorley said. "I am very happy for the Pilato family," reported WROC.

James Nobles, one of Pilato's attorneys, said he plans to appeal, according to the station.

WROC said Pilato will be sentenced on July 24 and faces 7-and-a-half years to life in prison.


  • Crimesider Staff

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