Three men charged in connection with a string of convenience store burglaries and two arson fires last summer in Franklin County are due in court Thursday.

Meanwhile, a fourth man, Einer Bonilla, 22, pleaded guilty to five charges related to the burglaries Tuesday in Franklin County Superior Court.

D’Kota Rowe, 21, of Wilton; Duane Bailey, 28, formerly of Massachusetts; and Devon Pease, 23, of Jay, are all scheduled to appear in court on three felony counts of burglary and two misdemeanor counts of theft. Pease also is charged with violating conditions of release.

Bailey, Rowe and Pease are charged with arson and conspiracy to burn a house June 27 in Wilton. The trio allegedly planned to set a Main Street house on fire, hoping it would cause the owner to run outside so they could beat him up. Bailey and Rowe had an ongoing feud with the owner, according to an affidavit by state fire marshal’s Inspector Ken MacMaster.

The three said they couldn’t get close enough to the house because of barking dogs in the yard and motion sensor lights, so they allegedly set fire to the nearby vacant mobile home on Sewall Street instead, hoping the intended target home also would catch fire, according to the affidavit. That didn’t happen, and only the vacant home burned.

Sgt. Ken Grimes, of the Office of the State Fire Marshal, said at a news conference in August that the arson fire planned in Wilton could have been “a horrific, catastrophic situation” because eight adults and five children lived at the Main Street house that was targeted.

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All but Pease face additional charges of arson for allegedly randomly setting fire later that night to a Winter Hill Road camp in Carthage. Andrea and Gene Casey Sr., of Mexico, who owned the log cabin-style camp, said at the August news conference that the family lost a precious diary of memories in the fire and peace of mind.

Bonilla was indicted in March on the arson and conspiracy charges, and he will appear in court on those charges in May.

Bailey, Rowe and Pease were indicted in August on charges related to the arson cases. Rowe and Bailey are each charged with four felony counts of arson and a felony count of conspiracy for both the Wilton and Carthage fires. Pease is charged with two felony counts of arson and one felony count of conspiracy for the Wilton fire.

The four men were charged July 2 with allegedly stealing cigarettes and alcohol and breaking into Skoolhouse Variety in Weld on June 30, and My Dad’s Place in Jay and Our Village Market on July 1 in New Vineyard.

On Tuesday, Bonilla pleaded guilty in Franklin County Superior Court to three felony burglary charges and two misdemeanor theft charges connected to the burglaries in Weld, New Vineyard and Jay. Bonilla has been in Franklin County Jail since his arrest in July.

Bonilla is scheduled to be sentenced on the burglary charges at a date that hadn’t been set as of Wednesday. Each of the burglary convictions carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

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In Bonilla’s next appearance on the arson charges, he is scheduled for a May 16 dispositional conference, according to his attorney Thomas Carey.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate


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