Resentencing Delayed for Man Convicted in Death of Detroit Firefighter

A Detroit judge said he will have to wait until January to resentence the man convicted of murder and arson in connection with the 2008 fire that killed Detroit firefighter Walter Harris, reports The Detroit Free Press.

Fire trucks and Detroit firefighters lined St. Antoine Street outside Third Circuit Court today. And more than 20 firefighters surrounded Harris' widow, Syri Harris, and son, Patrick Harris, as Judge Michael Callahan adjourned a hearing to reconsider sentencing for Mario Willis. He scheduled the re-sentencing for Jan. 24.

Callahan rescheduled the hearing after Willis showed up to the hearing from prison without a lawyer. He told the judge he had the money to retain a lawyer, but needed additional time.

A jury convicted Willis of second-degree murder and arson after testimony that he paid one of his employees $20 to set fire to a house owned by his then-girlfriend. Harris died trying to put out the fire when the roof collapsed. The man convicted of setting the fire, Darian Dove, was sentenced in 2010 to 17-30 years in prison.

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