Webster, N.Y. --- The lawyer for a teen expected to head to trial next week on arson and murder charges is asking the judge to delay that trial until April.
Michael Pilato, 16, is accused of setting a fire that killed two of his brothers and his father. His trial is scheduled to begin on Monday, January 14th.
Many of the same West Webster Firefighters and Webster Police Officers who responded to that December 2011 fire on Cardile Drive were also involved in the tragic events on Lake Road the morning of December 24, 2012.
The motion papers filed by Pilato’s lawyer reference the heightened media attention surrounding the events of Christmas Eve.
“The Christmas Eve tragedy has touched this community in a deep and emotional way. It has drawn extensive local and national media attention. Many reports from the Christmas Eve tragedy including references and discussion of the incident which occurred approximately one year earlier involving Mr. Pilato.”
The argument is made that finding a fair and unbiased jury may be more challenging in the immediate aftermath of that incident.
“The similar nature of the allegations and the fact that they occurred in close proximity to one another, involving the same police and fire department, raises serious question as to whether Mr. Pilato can receive a fair trial at the current time.”
Later on Pilato’s lawyer, Andre Vitale of the Monroe County Public Defender’s Office, further states: