Court sentence in firefighter’s death overturned 10 years later

Marion Willis, who was sentenced to 41 years for starting a fire that killed firefighter Walt Harris, will be sentenced for a third time

By FireRescue1 Staff

DETROIT — An arsonist’s sentencing was overturned again for a fatal fire that killed a Detroit firefighter 10 years ago.

Associated Press reported that Marion Willis, who was sentenced twice to at least 41 years for paying a handyman $20 to start a house fire that led to the death of Detroit firefighter Walt Harris in 2008, will face a judge for a third time after the Michigan appeals court said Judge Michael Callahan did not properly explain why he exceeded sentencing guidelines.

Willis’ case will be overseen by another judge when he is sentenced for a third time. He was convicted of second-degree murder after the roof collapsed on Harris, who was battling the blaze. 

Willis is currently still in prison while the appeals take place.


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