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West Haven arson suspect could face up to 15 years

January 3, 2019

MILFORD — A New Haven man could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison if he accepts a plea offer in a July 2017 West Haven arson that sent a woman to the hospital in critical condition.

Tyrese Perry, 32, will return to Superior Court Feb. 6 to accept or reject the offer.

He has been behind bars since his Dec. 8, 2017 arrest for allegedly setting a two-family home ablaze at 339 Center St. in West Haven in the early morning hours of July 11, 2017.

According to an arrest warrant written by Detective Michael Wolf, Perry had stayed with a friend who lived at the home the week before the fire, but the two had a falling out which resulted in Perry threatening the man in Facebook messages.

The man, his younger brother and his girlfriend were inside the home at the time of the fire. The woman could not escape on her own due to a recent injury and was rescued by West Haven firefighters before being treated at Yale-New Haven Hospital for smoke inhalation.

When questioned by police, the warrant says Perry denied setting the blaze — but detective obtained his cell phone records, which included searches for “West Haven fire” in the device’s search history.

In addition, Perry’s phone was also within 400 yards of the fire’s location when the blaze began, the warrant says, and a man “bearing (an) uncanny resemblance” to Perry was seen on surveillance footage at a nearby gas station about an hour before holding a container of what looks like cooking oil, which fire investigators believed could have been used to start the fire.

In court Thursday Judge Peter Brown said the plea offer in the case calls for Perry to plead guilty to first-degree arson, and a prison sentence of 25 years to be suspended after Perry serves between 10 and 15 years behind bars, followed by five years of probation.

He is currently being held on $200,000 bond in the case, according to court records.

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