Three people found guilty of setting fatal fire sentenced

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It began almost a year and a half ago when Troy fire and police found the Second Avenue apartment up in flames, but it ended in court on Thursday.

All three suspects were sentenced on Thursday for setting the fire and for causing the death of 82-year-old Grace Halpin.

“It was 3:20 a.m., the cops showed up at the door,” Halpin’s daughter read.

The daughter of Halpin trembled as she read her victim impact statement.

Her mother was killed in the Lansingburgh arson in May 2015.

“When my dad died when I was younger, I promised her that I would take care of her,” Halpin’s daughter read. “I felt like looking after her was my responsibility and I hadn’t been able to protect her from the crime that was committed that ultimately took her life.”

The Second Avenue apartment building was set ablaze by Abbey Slaga, Tyler Smith, and David Stanley.

All three are now heading to prison.

District Attorney Joel Abelove credits the hard work of Troy and state fire, as well as Troy police.

At first, investigators only had a surveillance video of the perpetrators running from the scene.

“An incredible job investigating this, following leads, developing witnesses to try to figure out who even did this because the night that it happened, we really didn’t know,” Abelove said.

Only Slaga showed remorse.

“I would just like to apologize to the family,” Slaga said.

When asked if he wanted to make a statement, Stanley said ‘no, thank you.’

Smith chose to remind the courtroom he still wishes they had hurt their intended target, a different tenant living in the building.

“We weren’t thinking straight,” Smith said. “Our intent was to get him and no one else, but our minds were clouded with hate and we did what we did.”

Smith will spend the next 20 years locked up for what he did.

Stanley was sentenced to 22 years and Slaga will spend two and a third to seven years in prison.

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