NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (AP) — A former New York firefighter says “stupidity,” not racism, spurred him to set a fire that destroyed a black colleague’s apartment.
Matthew Jurado was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison. Jurado pleaded guilty in May to arson.
Jurado, who is white, and Kenneth Walker were neighbors and members of different volunteer fire companies in North Tonawanda, near Niagara Falls.
Days before the August 2016 fire, Walker got a racist letter threatening him if he didn’t resign. But the letter was never linked to Jurado, who told police he was angry that Walker didn’t get him a post with Walker’s fire company.
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Jurado said Friday that “what happened was a moment of stupidity.”
Walker said he felt he got justice on seeing Jurado “finally pay for what he did.”