Court for teen accused of setting fire that killed girl

BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH)– An 18-year-old man was in Bristol Superior court Monday, accused of setting a fire that left a young woman dead in Southington last month.

Eric Morelli allegedly started the blaze by throwing a firework into an apartment window as a prank.

There was no plea and no words from the teen accused of throwing a firecracker into a house, causing a fire that killed a friend of his.

Eighteen-year-old Eric Morelli walked into Bristol court with his lawyer to face charges of manslaughter and reckless endangerment.

Kristen Milano
Kristen Milano

Friends and neighbors say on June 22nd, Morelli tossed a lit firecracker through a window into the house where 19-year-old Kristen Milano was sleeping. They say it was supposed to be a prank, but the firecracker started a fire and Milano died of smoke inhalation.

Monday was supposed to be the arraignment for Morelli, but all that happened in court was the case was continued and switched to New Britain, which is the part A criminal court.

While that happens, Morelli is free on $150,000 bond, which is no sitting well with friends of the victim.

“It’s hard, but harder to see him walk out of court. I want to see him handcuffed, head down on the table and walked out of that courtroom,” said Joseph Goding, Southington.

“Eric and his family are profoundly remorseful about what happened. Eric wants to tell the court the facts about what happened and as the case proceeds he will present his response to the court at that time,” said Ray Hassett, Morelli’s Attorney.

A woman was killed in a fire at a Southington apartment complex, June 22, 2014.
A woman was killed in a fire at a Southington apartment complex, June 22, 2014.

The next court appearance for Morelli will be July 29th. That will be in New Britain.

Meanwhile the family of the victim has hired famed attorney Hugh Keefe to represent them. He did not address the court, just telling the media outside there that he hopes the press will respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.

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