Arsonists convicted in fire that killed Walter Harris given more than 40 years during resentencing
6:17 AM, Jan 24, 2014
5:36 PM, Jan 24, 2014
DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) - A man convicted for his part in an arson that killed a Detroit firefighter did not get his sentence reduced during a court hearing on Friday.
Fire fighters packed the court for the hearing of Mario Willis, who was convicted of second degree murder and arson in 2008.
He was accused of paying an employee $20 to set a house on fire. That house was owned by his girlfriend at the time.
Walter Harris died battling the flames as the roof collapsed, and the man who actually set the fire, Darian Dove, was sentenced to at least 17 years in prison.
However, Willis appealed his sentence, and the Michigan Court of Appeals sent the case back to the judge.
The judge then asked why he had ignored a pre-sentence suggestion, going above the recommended sentence of 18 to 31 years.
During today's hearing Willis was once again sentenced to more than 40 years in prison, which is the same sentence Willis was originally given. He appealed that sentence in the hopes of getting a more lenient one.