LOCKPORT, NY - A Lockport teen accused of setting a massive fire that turned deadly this past summer, will now head to trial.
There was no plea deal Tuesday, so now it will be up to the judge. Because the defendant in this case is a minor, at 14 years old, this case has been handled by the family court system in Niagara County. A two-day fact finding hearing, similar to a trial, has been set for next month -- Feb. 22 and 23.
Back in August, flames tore through the High Tread International tire plant in Lockport, it took days to put it out. 2 On Your Side is not naming the teen who's been charged because of his age -- his attorney blames the other teen who died, Joe Phillips, for setting the fire. 2 On Your Side spoke with that attorney about what comes next if his client is found guilty.
"Then he's determined to be a juvenile delinquent," said Anthony Dimillo. "And then, the court would go to what's called a dispositional hearing, which is what to do, I wouldn't call it jail time, because it's a juvenile petition so he could be placed in a secured facility."
He says his client could get 18 months in a juvenile detention facility. One key piece of evidence in this case will be a voicemail that Phillips left on the defendant's cell phone, while the plant was burning. Both sides disagree on whether he immediately shared it with anyone.
There was family on both sides of this case in court, however, neither spoke afterwards, nor did the prosecution.