Hudson Falls arson suspect pleads guilty to second-degree murder

FORT EDWARD, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A local man accused of setting his girlfriend’s house on fire, leaving her to die inside, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Friday.

Derrick Guilder is facing 25 years to life.

According to the district attorney’s office, late Thursday afternoon, he was added to Friday’s court calendar for a possible plea deal.

Just days after the September 6 fire that claimed the life of 18-year-old Ashley Coltrain her 22-year-old boyfriend came clean.

While recovering from smoke inhalation in his hospital bed, Guilder admitted that he intentionally set the fire at 11 North Street in Hudson Falls.

“I started the fire. I lit all the newspaper on fire.”

He told police that initially, his plan was to kill not only Ashley but himself and their pets as well. He claims he was distraught that Ashley was trying to end their relationship.

He “panicked” at the last minute and escaped the flames, leaving Ashley locked inside an upstairs bedroom, leaving her to die.

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