For Immediate Release - September 25, 2009

Jose L. Reyes convicted

Cape & Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe announced today that Jose L. Reyes of Fitchburg. MA, (dob: 2/18/86) was convicted yesterday of Arson of A Dwelling House, Armed Assault with Intent to Murder {7 counts), Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, Throwing or Placing Explosive near Building and the Possession of a Molotov cocktail on 4/3/2008 in the town of Barnstable. This morning the Honorable Judge Richard. F. Cannon sentenced Jose Reyes to 15 years -18 years committed to the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction.

On the evening of 4/2/2008 Jose Reyes and Dennis Edwards had an altercation. In the early morning hours of 4/3/2008 Jose Reyes retaliated by returning to the home of Dennis Edwards and throwing a lit Molotov cocktail containing gasoline into the bedroom of two small sleeping children and an infant, setting the room ablaze. Hearing the window smash, an overnight visitor to the home rushed to the bedroom to see the flames surrounding the children. Yelling, she woke the home owner Dennis Edwards and the two of them got the children out of the fire-filled room, Mr. Edwards reaching through the flames to lift the infant from the mattress. The Molotov cocktail had landed on the mattress approximately 6 inches from the infant. The Barnstable Fire Department responded and extinguished the fire.

The case was investigated by the Barnstable Police and the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Fire Marshal's Office. The case was tried by Assistant District Attorney Sharon J. Thibeault. The defendant was represented by Attorney Robert Manning.