NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. - Matthew Jurado, 40, pleaded guilty to second degree arson before a Niagara County Court Judge on Friday.
Jurado admitted in court he set a fire in the home of a volunteer North Tonawanda firefighter.
The plea came a couple hours after Jurado did an exclusive interview with 2 On Your Side's Claudine Ewing. At that time, he talked about the day of the fire and that he was not going to take a plea because he said "I did nothing wrong."
"I'm not the monster that people are making me sound like," said Jurado.
It was last August when North Tonawanda volunteer firefighter Kenneth Walker received this letter in his mailbox. It was racist and threatening. A couple days later his home was that on fire, his family lost almost everything. No one was hurt.
It wasn't long before police arrested, Jurado, a former volunteer firefighter who lived across the street. Jurado calls Walker a friend. "For me to go from my house here to his house to set a friend's house on fire is really outrageous."
As for the letter, he denies writing it or knowing who wrote it, although police claim Jurado told them he knew who wrote it. "It really turns my stomach that somebody would do something that bad to somebody."
According to Jurado, the day of the fire he received a phone call from Walker asking him to check to see if the back door of the home was left unlocked his wife.
"At first it seemed suspicious because he never called me to check on his house," said Jurado.
While Jurado denied he confessed to police, he later pled guilty to a charge that has maximum prison sentence up to 25 years.
Judge Matt Murphy committed to a sentence of 5-10 years. Sentencing is scheduled for July 21.
During court it was revealed that Jurado had been in treatment for drugs and alcohol at Horizons.
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