William Woods Convicted of Murder and Arson

SCRANTON — A Scranton man on trial for setting a fire that killed two young boys was found guilty Thursday afternoon on all of the charges against him.

William Woods could now face a lifetime in prison. Lackawanna County President Judge Tom Munley found Woods guilty of all the charges against him, including two counts of first degree murder.

Tyaisha Leary wore her sons’ school pictures on her t-shirt when she came to the Lackawanna County Courthouse for the last day of the trial against her ex-boyfriend.

It’s been more than three years since two of her sons, Taevon Miles, 9, and Michael Miles, 10, were killed in a fire at the family’s home in west Scranton.

“I should have a little less anxiety, the nightmares will hopefully be over,” said Leary after learning the verdict.

Judge Munley found Leary’s ex-boyfriend William Woods guilty of 19 different charges for setting that fire.

Tyaisha Leary and her three children were home when Woods torched their house on South Hyde Park Avenue with lighter fluid. Taevon and Michael Miles were trapped on the second floor.

It took investigators a year to charge Woods with their murder. He was arrested in 2010.

When his verdict was read, Woods wore a red prison jumpsuit and sat emotionless while the judge said guilty 19 times.

“Just to see him in what he’ll have to live in for the rest of his life, I’m grateful, I’m grateful, I’m glad to the D.A., to everybody,” added Leary.

“We felt strong about our case and it’s obvious the judge felt the same way we did by rendering the verdict that he did,” said D.A. Andy Jarbola.

Jarbola and a team of investigators called witnesses for more than a week. They originally were looking for the death penalty, but as part of a deal made with Woods, the maximum penalty he faces is life in prison.

“I’m happy he got what he deserves. I’m really happy, and I know my grandsons are looking down and saying, ‘thank you’. He wont hurt anybody else,” added the victims’ grandmother Dorean Davis.

William Woods will be sentenced in the next few months.



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