New details released in case of Webster teen accused in deadly house fire | Crime
Shocking new details were revealed in court Friday about a deadly fire in Webster last December.
A Webster teen is accused of setting his home on fire, killing his father and two brothers.
Michael Pilato is charged with murder, attempted murder and arson. He is accused of setting the fire in the middle of the night that killed his father Carmen, and brothers, Peter and Josh. His mother and sister survived.
At issue for the hearing, whether incriminating statement Pilato made to police after the fire can be used against him at his trial. On the witness stand Friday was Nathaniel Blood, who lives with Michael Pilato’s sister, Elaina.
Blood testified that they got a phone call from Michael to meet him in Ellison Park. There, according to Blood, Michael said he started the fire by putting a gas can in the stove because he was made at his father. According to the testimony, Michael said he was mad because his father, Carmen told him he was a disgrace to the family. Blood testified that Michael, who is adopted, said he was not mad at his mother who survived along with another sibling.
Michael Pilato's mother Elaine walked into the courtroom along with two of her son's friends. Several of Michael Pilato's sisters were also there. One of them started crying when he walked into the courtroom. Later, sisters Jennifer and Angel said it was very painful. But they want to see justice served, and for Michael to what they said was pay "the full price."
Jennifer Pilato said, “It's difficult. It's difficult. I don't know how much more I can say.”
Angel Pilato Shuman said, “Three beautiful people. My father, our father Carmen. Our brothers, Peter and Josh, they are beautiful people. When people watch the news, think of the families that are affected every day because it was a huge effect on families. Our families are forever changed.”
One of Pilato's friends was asked to leave the courtroom for talking and what the deputy thought was him trying to communicate with Pilato at the defense table. He didn't think the deputy was right.
Mack Fletcher said, “I just thought he was being rude. All I did was make him smile. And it's kind of unbelievable that I got kicked out for that.”
The fire last December on Cardile Drive in Webster was started in the middle of the night. District Attorney Sandra Doorley was her own prosecutor Friday bringing her considerable courtroom experience to bear.
Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley said, “It's a tremendous tragedy. We have three lives that were lost here. Two people were injured. And a 15-year-old charged with murder. It's very sad.”
News10NBC asked Pilato's defense attorney if the boy's mother supports him. He said he couldn't answer that but told me that the teen has weekly face-to-face contact with his mother.
Andre Vitale, Public Defender, said, “Like any teenager, he gets very quiet at times. But what I can say is he's keeping his spirits up. He misses his family. He misses his friends very much.”
Pilato’s defense attorney wants the statement he gave police suppressed because the state law requires an adult to be present at the time police interrogate a minor. The only adult in the room other than police was a sister who reportedly yelled at her brother and called him a derogatory name. Pilato’s attorney says that disqualified her to serve the interests of a 15-year-old child. Pilato’s mother was in the hospital intensive care unit with hand and face burns at the time.
Judge Dinalfo says a decision on whether or not Pilato's statements will be admissible at trial will be made in six weeks.
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