Two men have been sentenced to 20 years for a destructive night in Litchfield County, that included a fire at a popular curling club, and the sentencing became a platform for the dangers of synthetic marijuana.
Matthew Carey, an Army Reserve private from Torrington, and Kyle Majewski, a machinist from Sandisfield, Massachusetts, have been sentenced to 20 years, suspended after 10, and five years of probation for setting two fires within a two-hour span, police said.
The bail commissioner at the Bantam courthouse previously said both men have substance abuse issues and that was central to statements made during sentencing.
Prosecutors painted Majewski as the leader.
Majewski said his behavior is unacceptable and he takes full responsibility for his actions and plans to use prison time to become a better person.
There is no excuse, he said, and cannot blame drugs and alcohol.
Majewski's father spoke in court about the dangers of synthetic marijuana, alcohol and energy drinks.
His art teacher also spoke, and said he told students to stay off synthetic marijuana.
In court on Thursday, Carey turned to the victims, read a letter of apology for his actions and asked that they someday accept his apology. He said he understands their anger toward him.
His defense attorney said it reveals the "underlying core of what he's about" and asked for a sentence in the 5 to 10-year range.
The first fire was discovered at a house on Wheeler Road around 11 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19. No one was home at the time.
As firefighters were finishing up extinguishing the first fire, a state trooper was answering a call from a homeowner who reported intruders in her home and spotted a second fire at the Norfolk Curling Club on Golf Drive.
The entire front end of the building, which is where the hockey rink is located, was in flames when firefighters arrived, Norfolk fire spokesperson John Barbagallo said.
“The wood frame in the front, the metal frame of the hockey rink did experience quite a lot of damage,” Barbagallo said.
Around 1:30 a.m., the next morning, a man called state police to report he had been a car crash on Mountain Road in Norfolk, about a mile from the fire at the Curling Club and the location of the home break in.
Troopers responding to the crash said the two men in on car were connected to the two fires, as well as the break in of the home on Westside Road.
The teens were charged with arson in the second degree, criminal mischief and burglary.
The judge on Thursday said he wondered how much longer the destructive spree would have gone on should the crash not have happened.
The judge said on Thursday that the town of Norfolk will never be the same, he has never seen anything like this before and the two men will never be able to pay the victims back.