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Michael Legrant Takes Plea Deal in Troy Arson Case
TROY -- Michael Legrant couldn't stop crying in court, but for the first time, by signing a plea deal, he confessed to burning down the Foss Way apartment complex in Troy.
He had nothing to say to our cameras, but let his lawyer explain the tears.
"Emotions finally overcame him," said Legrant's attorney Paul Princi. "It's very difficult. Facing as many counts as he might have been facing; potentially 15 different first-degree felonies with the potential of 11 years so it was overwhelming for him."
The 15 first-degree felonies are for the 15 people that lived in the apartment complex.
Stray cats and trash is all that's left. We spoke with the apartment's landlords over the phone. They say they are just waiting for official word from the city to tear the place down. For the people who lived there, they say they want to see the maximum punishment for whoever did this.
"I don't think it should be a plea for anything like this. Some of my friends were hurt in this and one's not going to be able to walk," said former resident Charles Mowery.
He's upset Legrant and prosecutors agreed to two felony counts of first- and second-degree aggravated arson, with a maximum punishment of 19 years in prison.
"If he's really sorry he should've thought about that before," said Mowery. "Me and another family, we lived in a motel for two months and it just took a toll on us, kids and everybody."
"You understand by pleading guilty to charges you are admitting guilt?" asked the judge.
"Yes sir," said Legrant.
Legrant agreed to everything in court, but his ex-wife says he only turned himself in because he wanted to cooperate with police when they put out a warrant for him.
"I feel bad for the families that were hurt, and my prayers go out to them, but I don't believe it was Michael that did it," said Jenae Legrant. "The only reason he took a plea bargain and plead guilty is because he was scared. He doesn't want to spend the rest of his life in jail away from his children and his family."
Legrant's sentencing is scheduled for September 24. As part of the plea deal, the judge could fine Legrant up to $35,000 and force him to pay restitution and medical expenses for the victims.
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