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Guilty plea to arson may bring 8-year term

A Colvin Avenue man was jailed Thursday, moments after he pleaded guilty to arson incidents, including the firebombing of an ex-girlfriend's North Buffalo home.

Andre Carey, 19, was taken into custody under orders of Erie County Judge Thomas P. Franczyk at about 3:15 p.m. after he pleaded guilty to second-degree arson in two fires -- on Dec. 19, 2007, and Feb. 16, 2008.

Carey, who had been free on bail, faces eight years in prison when he is sentenced March 25.

Prosecutors Rachel L. Newton and Justin T. Wallens said Carey and Robert Hammond, 19, of Voorhees Avenue, caused $5,000 damage to the car of the father of Carey's former girlfriend by dumping gasoline on it and torching it in the driveway of her family's Wellington Road home Dec. 19, 2007.

Carey enlisted Hammond on Feb. 16, 2008, as he tried to toss two Molotov cocktails through the front window of his ex-girlfriend's house, the prosecutors said. One of the firebombs landed in the house, causing about $2,000 damage; the other bounced off the window and burst into flames on the side of a neighboring house, causing $5,000 damage. Hammond, who remains free on bail, will be sentenced soon before Erie County Judge Michael F. Pietruska on his plea to a lesser charge of third-degree arson.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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