Families of Fatal Arson Victims Cannot Wear Buttons

Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013  |  Updated 9:32 AM EDT
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Families of Fatal Arson Victims Cannot Wear Buttons

Two years ago, the Roberson family lost three family members in a fire at 48-50 Wolcott Street in New Haven that authorities said was intentionally set.

Wanda, Jaquetta and Quayshawn Roberson all died during the fire.

On Monday, the father and son accused of starting the fire, then trying to cover it up, started what will be a weeks-long trial.

On Tuesday, the judge ruled that the victims’ families will not be able to wear clothing or buttons that have photos of the deceased.

Hector Natal was charged with arson and father, Hector Morales, was charged with trying to intimidate witnesses and mislead investigators.

“Nothing is going to give us closure right now, because you can't bring my family back,” Loretta Parker, Wanda Roberson’s aunt, said.

Parker sat in court with other family members and listened as firefighters recounted what happened in the early morning hours of March 9, 2011.

One firefighter called it chaos. Another got choked up as he recalled finding the three bodies in a third-floor bedroom.

“We're just trying to get through this because it's going to be rough,” said Parker.

Jasmine Roberson was called to the stand and told how she was inside the burning house and threw her then 1-year-old son to safety before jumping out a second floor window herself.

However, the defense told the jury not to be swayed by the tragedy of this case, but to listen to the facts.

While they won't dispute that this fire killed three people, the defense said the prosecutors are building their case based on testimony from unreliable sources, who are people who changed their tunes for personal gain and payment from the government.

“We just want to see justice and we want to see the truth come out and get to the bottom of this,” said Parker.

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