- Associated Press - Thursday, May 28, 2015

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Board of Pardons has rejected a commutation request from a man serving a 46-year sentence for manslaughter after initially being sentenced to life in prison for three counts of murder.

The board on Thursday denied a commutation request from 53-year-old Mark A. Kirk.

Kirk was convicted of murder, assault and arson after a 1996 fire at a New Castle-area apartment complex killed a neighbor and his two children.

Prosecutors said Kirk deliberately poured rum on a hot stove after he and his girlfriend argued following a day of drinking with friends.

A judge later reduced Kirk’s murder convictions to manslaughter and substituted his three life prison terms for 46 years behind bars.

Last month, a court commissioner recommended that a judge deny the latest appeal from Kirk.

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