Hearing to dismiss case against Anthony Baye on arson, murder charges scheduled for Tuesday
JERREY ROBERTS Anthony Baye leaves Hampshire Superior Court after a pretrial hearing in December Purchase photo reprints »
NORTHAMPTON — Lawyers for alleged arsonist Anthony Baye are seeking to have his case dismissed, citing a lack of evidence connecting their client to any of the fires he’s accused of setting.
“In the second round of indictments, the commonwealth presented even less evidence than they did in the first round,” Northampton defense attorney Thomas Lesser said by telephone Monday.
Baye has pleaded not guilty to 42 charges, including multiple counts of arson and two counts of murder in connection with the deaths of Paul Yeskie Sr., 81, and his son Paul Yeskie Jr., 39, in their Fair Street home Dec. 27, 2009.
After the state’s Supreme Judicial Court ruled in July 2012 that portions of Baye’s recorded police interrogation were inadmissible as evidence, prosecutors dropped most of the original charges against him.
But eight days later, a grand jury re-indicted Baye on charges related to the Dec. 27, 2009, fires and eleven others dating back to 2007, most of them in Northampton’s Ward 3 neighborhood.
“Improper evidence was knowingly given to the grand jury in order to obtain the indictment,” according to a 17-page motion filed in January by Lesser and co-counsel David Hoose.
In January, special prosecutor Brett Vottero said “volumes” of grand jury testimony had been filed by the state in response to the motion to dismiss.
Messages left Monday with the Northwestern district attorney’s office were not immediately returned.
If the case moves forward to trial, jury selection is expected to begin May 6 from a pool selected in Hampden County.
The hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. in Hampden Superior Court in Springfield before judge Constance Sweeney.
Baye has been in custody since his arrest in early January 2010.
Six of the charges Baye faces carry potential life sentences if he is convicted.
Bob Dunn can be reached at email@example.com.