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William Woods Arson and Murder Trial Begins

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A man from Scranton is on trial for the murder of two young boys more than three years ago.


William Woods is accused of setting fire to his ex-girlfriends home back in 2009, her two sons were killed in the blaze.


Monday a judge heard testimony from a number of police officers and firefighters who were all there that night in July of 2009. Some who pulled the two young boys from the burning home, others who spent more than year investigating the fire before charging William Woods with arson and murder.


Tyaisha Leary walked into Lackawanna County court with her sons’ pictures pinned to her sweater after waiting more than three years for their deaths to be brought to justice.


Her young sons were killed after the fire broke out while the entire family was at home on South Hyde Park avenue in West Scranton. It was ruled arson hours later


But, it would take another year until authorities charged Leary’s ex-boyfriend William Woods with starting the fire that killed 9-year-old Taevon Miles and 10-year-old Michael Miles.


The boys’ family is relieved to see Woods finally stand trial. But, the first day of testimony brought back bad memories.


“I sat with my grandson until he died, and I had to make the decision whether to pull the plug because his mother was unconscious,” said the boys’ grandmother Dorean Davis.


Davis sat in on the trial as well, listening to testimony from fire investigators like State Trooper Russ Andress who described how the boys died.


Trooper Andress said the boys were surrounded by fire, and trapped in a bedroom that was almost 600 degrees.


Family members never had any doubt that woods had caused the fire.


“I had them the day before they died, I had them, they told me he had already threatened the mother. That he was going to do something to kill everybody in the house,” added Davis.


Lackawanna County District Attorney Andy Jarbola is prosecuting the case himself, and earlier this year made a deal with Woods. There’s no jury in this case, only a judge will decide Woods’ fate. In exchange, prosecutors took the death penalty off the table.


“Finally we got this case to go to trial, even though it’s a non-jury trial. It’s still a relief to the family that we are going to be coming to a close next week sometime. And we will just call the witnesses we have to prove our case,” Jarbola said.


The trial is expected to go into next week and prosecutors say Tyaisha Leary, who was severely injured in the fire back in 2009, is expected to testify Tuesday.


If convicted, the maximum sentence William Woods could receive is life in prison.



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