Man who set divorcing parents’ home on fire avoids prison


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A man who burned down his parents’ Connecticut home as they battled in a bitter divorce case has avoided prison time in a plea deal that upset his father.

Brian Comeau, 29, was sentenced to five years of probation by Hartford Superior Court Judge Laura Baldini on Thursday.

Prosecutor Donna Mambrino said Comeau set a fire that destroyed the family home in Windsor in March 2017. His father was living in the house but wasn’t home at the time, while he and his mother were living in a motel. The son and mother later moved to Palmer, Massachusetts.

Comeau pleaded guilty to second-degree arson in November.

His father, Stephen Comeau, expressed his frustration with the plea deal.

“He burned my cats,” Stephen Comeau told the judge during the sentencing. “I had nowhere to live for three years. It seems to me that the punishment does not fit the crime.”

Mambrino defended the plea deal, saying it was Brian Comeau’s first arrest. She also said Brian Comeau complied with all release conditions before his sentencing, and he had been diagnosed with a paranoid personality and depression.

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