Volunteer firefighter gets 25 to life for murder
(AP) - A rookie volunteer firefighterconvicted of setting a blaze that killed a mother and three of herchildren in what prosecutors said was a twisted bid to become ahero again protested his innocence Friday as he was sentenced to 25years to life in prison.
Caleb Lacey, who was convicted of four counts each of murder andmanslaughter plus arson, spoke barely above a whisper in a jammedcourtroom filled with people wiping away tears.
His family and supporters were on one side of the gallery. Thevictims' family and friends wearing T-shirts with photos of theirloved ones on the other. A center row largely filled with reportersseparated the sides.
"Only God knows the 100 percent truth," the 20-year-old formermember of the Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department told NassauCounty Court Judge Jerald Carter. "I did not commit thesecrimes."
The fire, several doors from Lacey's home in Lawrence, New York,killed Morena Vanegas, 46; her daughters Susanna and AndreaVanegas, ages 9 and 13; and her 19-year-old son, Saul Presa. MorenaVanegas' husband, Edit, and two other young sons fled the apartmentby climbing out a rear window.