FARMINGTON — One of four men charged in connection with a string of burglaries and two arson cases last summer in Franklin County pleaded guilty Thursday to related charges in court.

Duane Bailey, 28, formerly of Massachusetts, pleaded guilty to three felony counts of burglary and two misdemeanor charges of theft for his part in a string of convenience store burglaries last summer in New Vineyard, Jay and Weld. Bailey also pleaded guilty to two felony counts of arson in connection with fires set June 27 at homes in Wilton and Carthage. Two counts of arson and one count of criminal conspiracy were dismissed.

On Tuesday, Einer Bonilla, 22, formerly of Nebraska, pleaded guilty to the same five counts as Bailey in connection with the burglaries. Bonilla is facing four felony counts of arson and one felony count of criminal mischief for his part in allegedly setting fire to the Wilton home and Carthage camp, but will not appear again on those charges until a hearing in May.

Facing similar charges in connection with the burglaries and fires are D’Kota Rowe, 21, of Wilton, and Devon Pease, 23, of Jay.

The four men were charged with arson and conspiracy in connection to the fire set June 27 in a vacant Sewall Street home in Wilton. They allegedly planned to set fire to a house on Main Street that was owned by a man Rowe claimed had stolen money from his mother, according to District Attorney Joshua Robbins.

When a barking dog and motion sensor lights scared the men from setting fire to the target house, they allegedly set fire to the nearby vacant mobile home on Sewall Street, hoping it would spread to the intended target on Main Street. Only the Sewall Street home burned.


Rowe, Bonilla and Bailey also were charged with setting fire later that night to a camp on Winter Hill Road in Carthage.

On July 2, the four men were charged with breaking into and stealing alcohol and tobacco products June 30 from Skoolhouse Variety in Weld, and on July 1 at My Dad’s Place in Jay and Our Village Market in New Vineyard.

Rowe appeared in court Thursday on both sets of charges. He maintained his initial not guilty plea on the three felony counts of burglary and two misdemeanor counts of theft he is charged with for his alleged part in the burglaries. He also maintained a not guilty plea on five felony counts of arson and a felony count of criminal conspiracy in relation to the fires.

Both of the cases against Rowe will be going to a three-day trial, a date for which had not been set as of Thursday. He will appear again Friday in Franklin County Superior Court for jury selection.

Pease’s attorney appeared in court Thursday on his behalf, though his case was postponed for resolution at a later date.

Neither Bailey nor Bonilla has been sentenced on the charges.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate

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