SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – It was an emotional moment in the courtroom as the verdict for the Jay Street fire was read.
Three years to the day since the fire destroyed the apartment building on 104 Jay Street, killing four people inside – former Building Inspector Kenneth Tyree can’t even keep his eyes open as the judge reads him his fate.
The jury deems him “Not Guilty” on most charges, including manslaughter. It’s a sigh of relief for Tyree.
“Everybody in the city knew that I was innocent, including the jurors.”
Defense Attorney Mark Gaylord applauds the jury’s decision.
“They got to see the man and they got to see that he’s not a bad guy, in fact he’s a pretty nice guy.”
But Gaylord is also disappointed. Tyree was found guilty on one charge – false instrument for filing. IN essence, it means he was dishonest when applying for his job as building inspector.
“Of course he’s lost his career and he’s lost his livelihood because of this, so it’s a bittersweet victory,” said Gaylord.
One juror, who spoke to News 10 off the record, said she didn’t want to make Tyree into the scapegoat for the tragedy and that this fire wasn’t squarely on his shoulders.
District Attorney Robert Carney understands that, but still believes these deaths could have been prevented.
Tyree is scheduled back in court for sentencing on his one guilty charge in early May. He could face up to four years behind bars.