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Case moves forward against teenager charged in Lockport fire

Posted at 6:32 PM, Jan 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-10 18:32:15-05

The teenager facing charges in the August fire that destroyed High Tread International in Lockport is headed for a fact finding hearing in February.  His attorney and prosecutors were talking prior to Tuesday's court appearance, but did not agree to a plea deal.

Judge John Batt of Niagara County Family Court said the fact finding hearing is similar to a criminal trial, except there is no jury.  He determines the outcome of the case.

The teenagers is facing 10 charges, including negligent homicide and arson, related to the fire that destroyed High Tread International and burned for days.  It also killed the defendant's friend, 14 year-old Joe Phillips of Lockport.

The defendant and the prosecutor requested the hearing to last two days in order to present all evidence.  It is scheduled for February 22 and 23.

The defendant's attorney had previously asked Judge Batt to drop 9 of the 10 against his client.  That was denied on December 22, 2016.