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Guilty Plea in Yonkers Firefighter Death
A Bronx man pleaded guilty today to murder and assault charges in connection with the death of firefighter Patrick Joyce in October 2009 and the injuries of two others.
Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore says Rafael Roldan, in the midst of his trial, pleaded guilty to 2nd Degree Murder and two counts of 1st Degree Assault.
On October 2, 2009, the Yonkers Fire Department responded to a multi family structure fire at 149 Waverly Street. Firefighters managed to put out the blaze in the front room, when a second fire erupted in the rear of the home and spread to the roof area trapping firefighter Patrick Joyce and Lt Joseph Murray and William Kanych Jr.
The smoke and flames forced the men to jump three stories. Joyce was killed. The other two suffered serious injuries.
Murray had multiple fractures to his ribs, spine and burns that required hospitalization and surgery. Firefighter Kanych suffered a fractured foot, burns and spinal injuries that required hospitalization and surgery.
Firefighters determined the blaze was arson.
DiFiore commented on Roldan's plea, "This defendant's guilty plea today, with the full support of Firefighter Joyce's family, Lt Murray's family and Fireighter Kanych's family, hopefully will give some measure of closure to them and the members of the Yonkers Fire Department.
Roldan faces a term of 20 years to life in state prison in exchange for his plea.
He's due to be sentenced April 12.
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