Brockton: Fire Marshal outraged by plea deal for serial arsonists

Fire officials are calling the deal Plymouth County Superior Court Judge Carol Ball is offering two serial arsonists an outrage.

On Tuesday at Superior Court in Brockton, Ball offered up a much lighter sentence than recommended by the Commonwealth to accused arsonists Mark Sargent and his stepson Jeannemarie Louis in exchange for guilty pleas.

Sargent and Louis, both of Middleboro, were the focus of an investigation into suspicious fires that spanned multiple counties in 2012 and 2013. In the end the pair were linked to several blazes by a GPS devise investigators attached to their vehicle.

State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan said he is outraged at the plea deal offered to the father and stepson team of serial arsonists. Coan called the district attorney’s recommendation of 8-12 years prison time for Sargent and 4-6 years in a county jail for Louis fair sentencing.

Middleboro Fire Chief Lance Benjamino said Ball’s deal was offensive, adding that people lost their property, towns expended a lot of resources; apparatus, manpower, and investigators on the fires.

Sargent’s attorney, Edward Sharkansky, of Brockton, expects Sargent will take the deal on Friday. Louis’s attorney could not be reached for comment.

Sargent and Louis were charged with setting fires in West Bridgewater, Scituate and Marshfield, but several others remain unresolved and Coan threatens additional charges may be forthcoming.


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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