Updated 01/10/2013 02:31 PM
Pilato Trial Delayed in Wake of West Webster Tragedy
A judge agreed to delay the start of a murder trial involving a Webster teenager accused of setting a fatal fire that killed members of his own family.
Michael Pilato is charged with murder, arson and attempted murder. His trial was scheduled to begin Monday, but has been delayed until April.
Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley supported the judge's decision to move the trial to April at the request of the defense.
The fire happened in Webster in December 2011. Michael Pilato, 16, is accused of setting his family's house on fire, killing his father and two brothers.
The judge said that many of the witnesses needed to testify are West Webster firefighters and Webster police officers who are still dealing with the Christmas Eve tragedy that killed two firefighters and injured two others.
The defense also wants to ensure Pilato gets a fair trial.
"After my conversations with the members of the fire department and the police department, I really think an adjournment in this case is warranted. We are ready to try the case. I wasn't looking for a long adjournment, but I think some time to heal would be in the best interest of everyone,” said Doorley.
"It's not going to impact how it's going to proceed. It's still going to be the same case, it's still going to be the same way we're handling it. But, right now considering how close we are on the heels of what just occurred in the same community, just down the street. I just felt it was best for everybody involved to make the request to put this case off several months,” said Andre Vitale, defense attorney.
Pilato pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. He's currently being held at the Monroe County Children's Center.
Jury selection is scheduled to start April 15th.