Brockton: Fire Chiefs protest light sentence offered to accused serial arsonists

A contingent of fire officials plan to descend on Brockton’s superior court house on Friday in a show of support for investigators and prosecutors who brought two accused serial arsonists to trial.

But the accused might not ever stand trial if they accept Plymouth Superior Court Judge Carol S. Ball’s offer and plead guilty. One could even go free on Friday, the other by Christmas.

Whitman Fire Chief Timothy J. Grenno doesn’t expect the presence of fire chiefs will make any difference to Ball and prompt her to get tough on the defendants.

Grenno, who is also the president of the Plymouth County Fire Chief’s Association, said officials across the state are appalled and astounded that Ball isn’t supporting Plymouth District Attorney Timothy Cruz’s recommendation of a stiffer sentence.

Grenno suspects Mark Sargent and his stepson Jeanmarie Louis, both of Middleboro, were responsible for a reign of terror when suspicious fires were breaking out across southeastern Massachusetts. The pair were charged with arson in connection to 4-fires, but dozens are still under investigation.

Both men have been in jail for over a year awaiting trial. Sargent is expected to take Balls offer and could be out by Christmas. If Louis pleads guilty he could go free on Friday because of the time he’s already served.

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About Alice Elwell

Alice Elwell is a freelance reporter who lives on the South Shore. She joined the WATD team to widen our coverage to include Middleboro. She can be reached at