BELFAST — Attorneys negotiated a seven-year prison sentence in the case of a Unity man accused of setting a fire that destroyed a mobile home last December. The victim’s family objects.

Thirty-eight-year-old Derek Creasy is charged with attempted murder and two counts of arson in connection with a fire that consumed the home of 55-year-old Ronald Turner. He agreed to a plea deal with Assistant District Attorney William Entwistle.

The plea agreement, brokered via Zoom in a July 13 dispositional conference between Entwistle and Stephen Smith, Creasy’s attorney,  would have him serve seven years for two counts of arson and dismiss the attempted murder charge.

When Superior Court Judge Eric Walker asked if Turner wanted to address the court, Entwistle informed him Turner was deceased. After meeting with Turner’s mother and other family members in private, Entwistle informed Judge Walker that they were “very much opposed” to the recommended sentence.

With several other cases still waiting to be heard that day, Walker decided to move the conference to another date, saying “Today may not be the perfect day for this.”

“These are obviously very serious charges,” he said. “We are talking about seven years in prison for Mr. Creasy and the victim’s family are here and they are opposing this, so this is not a simple, 15-minute matter.”

An hour was requested in the near future so that Turner’s family can address the court directly and, Walker added, so Creasy can have his case fully heard and argued. A date has not yet been set.

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