- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - A resentencing hearing is taking place for a Vermont man initially sentenced to a 40-to-60-year prison term for setting a fire that killed four people in 1999.

Eric Williams confessed to setting the Milton home on fire, killing Amelia Perreault and her three grandsons, ages 3 to 11. He challenged his sentence, saying he was coerced into a plea deal.

Judge Samuel Hoar is weighing evidence and testimony before he decides on the sentence. The hearing began Monday and was resuming Tuesday.

Court records show Williams was upset about his impending eviction, loss of his job as a security guard, and a breakup with his girlfriend. Police said Williams, a former volunteer firefighter, thought he could earn recognition by saving people, but the flames blocked their exit.


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