Man found guilty of 2006 Branford arson murder

Kathleen Hardy

(WTNH) — A guilty verdict has been reached in the arson murder case that killed Kathy Hardy of Branford back in 2006. John Valiette has been convicted for starting the fire inside the house on Little Bay Lane.

39-year-old Hardy died of smoke inhalation after her home was set ablaze in March of 2006. Branford Fire investigators determined that the fire was initiated by accelerants found on the first floor of the home as well as the staircase leading up to the second floor where Hardy’s body was found.

Prosecutors say Valiette and another man, Steven Martone broke into Hardy’s home and set fire to it after some type of dispute. Martone is still facing a trial in this case.

“John Vailette committed a heartless and cowardly crime – setting fire to a woman’s home,” said U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly. “That fire killed Kathy Hardy and took her from her three children, her parents, her siblings and many loved ones. This was a difficult case and I thank the jury for its thoughtful consideration of the evidence.”

Vailette is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 23. He faces the possibility of life in prison.

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