DALTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A judge sentenced a Dalton man accused of burning a display of hay bales showing support for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign the maximum jail penalty.
The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office said Judge Mark Pasquariello sentenced 50-year-old Lonnie Durfee to one year at the Berkshire County House of Correction on Thursday on a single count of burning personal property.
The Holiday Brook Farm in Dalton created the display of hay bales wrapped in plastic and wrote “USA Biden Harris 2020” on them. The display was placed along Route 9 for vehicles driving by to see. On October 9, the Dalton Police and Fire Departments received a report that the hay bales were on fire, according to Police Sergeant Deanna Strout. The bales of hay were destroyed in the fire.
Dalton Police, Massachusetts State Police, and the Office of the State Fire Marshal investigated the arson and arrested Durfee the following day.
“The use of fire has a deeply rooted association with political and civil rights intimidation. This fire victimized not only the property owners but represented a threat to entire communities,” District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.