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Two arrested for fatal Seton Hall fire
The Newark Star Ledger ^ | 06.12.03

Posted on 06/12/2003 12:35:03 PM PDT by Coleus

Edited on 07/06/2004 6:38:59 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

More than three years after a fire ripped through a Seton Hall University dormitory, two students were arrested yesterday for allegedly setting the blaze that killed three freshmen and injured dozens of other students.

Joseph LePore and Sean Ryan, both 22, were charged with arson, reckless manslaughter and felony murder in connection with the fire on the South Orange campus, their attorneys said.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Free Republic; US: New Jersey
KEYWORDS: academialist; bolandhall; catholiclist; donutwatch; fire; newark; setonhall; setonhalluniversity; southorange
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Seton Halls of Shame

1 posted on 06/12/2003 12:35:03 PM PDT by Coleus
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To: Coleus
Seton Hall Class of 93 Bump
2 posted on 06/12/2003 12:50:56 PM PDT by bigeasy_70118
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To: Coleus
My Pop always said that nothing any good happens after midnight. I learned the hard way. Seems like these guys may, too.
3 posted on 06/12/2003 1:50:58 PM PDT by BillyBonebrake
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To: Coleus
You'd be amazed at what some college kids are doing in their dorms. A local college has had to deal with numbers pipe bombs and fires in the dorms, kids throwing computer monitors out the windows at unsuspecting passersby, kids smearing feces all over the carpeting in their dorms, and worse.
4 posted on 06/12/2003 1:54:47 PM PDT by mountaineer
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To: mountaineer
Shoot, I meant "numerous" pipe bombs.
5 posted on 06/12/2003 1:55:35 PM PDT by mountaineer
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To: mountaineer
They should go back to the old days when the dean of students was in charge and had in loco parentes powers over the students.
6 posted on 06/12/2003 2:03:00 PM PDT by Coleus (God is Pro Life and Straight
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To: Coleus
My God, I just read the Star Ledger archived stories about two of the victims of the fire. Alvaro and Shawn. What tremendous stories, what valor. I pity the recklessness two who started this fire, if this be them. What an end to so many potential lives, including their own. V's wife.
7 posted on 06/12/2003 2:12:48 PM PDT by ventana
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To: ventana
Yea, I really feel sorry for Dana Christmas, the lady who was the RA and stayed inside until all on her floor were out. She is still in bandages.
8 posted on 06/12/2003 2:43:36 PM PDT by Coleus (God is Pro Life and Straight
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To: *Academia list; *Catholic_list; *Donut watch
9 posted on 06/12/2003 2:47:33 PM PDT by Coleus (God is Pro Life and Straight
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To: Coleus
Geez. I went to glance at the story on those burn victims, and wound up reading the whole series and looking at all the pictures.

What a powerful story, and what an amount of work and heart went into it. If potential jurors have read this, these kids charged with this idiotic misdeed are utterly buggered.


Criminal Number 18F
10 posted on 06/12/2003 7:10:26 PM PDT by Criminal Number 18F
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To: Coleus
The Star-Ledger series suggests that the docs that worked on Dana Christmas did not refer her to the burn centre at St Barnabas... the only one in that part of NJ.

How could they do that? I presume that they had a reason, doctors don't do stuff for no reason at all. Maybe we have a doctor in the house who can explain whatever it is I'm missing.

I'm glad that she's alive, anyway. Prayers to her, Alvaro & Shawn, and all the other victims living and dead. .


Criminal Number 18F
11 posted on 06/12/2003 7:18:28 PM PDT by Criminal Number 18F
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To: Coleus
She is still in bandages.

Three and a half years ago. O Brother.

You know, if it had been a warehouse full of boom boxes, Studebaker parts or turnips the state would have required the building to have a sprinkler system.


Criminal Number 18F

12 posted on 06/12/2003 7:21:25 PM PDT by Criminal Number 18F
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To: Criminal Number 18F
I'm not sure why? seems very strange since many victims are automatically air lifted to St. Barnabas right from the scene.
13 posted on 06/12/2003 7:24:43 PM PDT by Coleus (God is Pro Life and Straight
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To: All
Long road to arrests
arrowSean Ryan (left) and Joseph Lepore were indicted Thursday in connection with the Jan. 19, 2000, Seton Hall fire.

In the hours just after Seton Hall University's deadly dormitory fire, Joseph T. LePore, like other displaced students, milled about campus. He was dazed and smelling of smoke.

"At first, I thought it was a false alarm, that somebody did something stupid," he told a reporter. "We thought it was a joke."

On Thursday, LePore and his roommate at Boland Hall, Sean Ryan, were being held at the Essex County Jail on $2 million bail. They were charged with starting the Jan. 19, 2000, blaze that killed three classmates and injured more than 50 others.

The case, seemingly bogged down in procedure for so long, proved anything but mundane when the indictments were unsealed Thursday morning. The indictments included tales of misplaced family loyalty, "covert" investigations, witness tampering, and an orchestrated cover-up.

The indictments also contained an unindicted co-conspirator who was pressured to keep quiet by the accused and may have helped authorities build a conspiracy case against his friends. The father of an indicted conspirator, charged with witness tampering, has alleged ties to organized crime.


Long road to arrests

Together under a very dark cloud

Student says fire changed him, his future

Charges spur varied emotions on campus

Grand jury urges furniture flammability rules

LePore, of Florham Park, and Ryan, of Livingston, were charged with 62 counts by an Essex County grand jury. Additionally, LePore's parents and sister were charged with trying to cover up his involvement. The indictment recounts alleged conversations among the family members, including the father coaching his daughter to lie, and the mother instructing her son to "stand united" with another suspect to avoid prosecution.

The accused men, both 22, grew up together in Florham Park and were sharing a room at the 600-bed freshman dormitory on the South Orange campus. They were arrested Wednesday and held on felony murder and manslaughter charges. Police said LePore resisted arrest, putting his car in reverse and trying to run down the officer who approached him at an East Hanover apartment complex. Ryan was arrested without incident in front of a tanning salon at a strip mall on Route 10 in East Hanover.

They both face a minimum of 30 years in prison if convicted of felony murder, the most serious charge.

The three-year investigation was "extremely labor intensive" and included a "covert" investigation, interviews with more than 600 people, and a reenactment of the crime scene, said acting Essex County Prosecutor Donald Campolo.

"This crime occurred in the darkness of early morning, the crime scene was literally consumed by fire,'' Campolo said. "Add to it the fact of the cover-up and it made this investigation nearly impossible."

Prosecutors say a ripped poster was set ablaze, quickly igniting a couch in a third-floor student lounge where the students were hanging out at about 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 19, 2000. The fire quickly spread to two other couches, producing thick, toxic smoke, said Jeffrey Cartwright, director of the arson task force of the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.

"It was a lethal environment within four minutes of the fire,'' Cartwright said.

As part of its presentment, the grand jury recommended that New Jersey enact standards that would ban furniture made of the type of materials used in the foam-filled upholstered couches.

"The grand jury's message is that it will save lives,'' Cartwright said. The tragedy also led to a law requiring sprinklers in all college dormitories in the state. Boland Hall was not fitted with sprinklers at the time of the fire.

The students who died were John Giunta of Vineland, Frank Caltabilota of West Long Branch, and Aaron Karol of Green Brook. All were 19. They received posthumous degrees when their class graduated last month.

For Karol's family, the end of the three-year investigation was a relief. "I'm sorry they didn't come forward before this," said Candy Karol, Aaron's mother.

"We all have choices and they made theirs," she said. "I don't believe they deserve any leniency. They didn't show any on the third floor of Boland. But that's up to the courts."

In addition to felony murder and reckless manslaughter, Ryan and LePore were charged with a host of other charges, including arson and 53 counts of aggravated assault in connection with those who were injured.

"It feels good that they got the people,'' said Alvaro Llanos of Hawthorne, who was severely burned in the fire. "It's the piece of the puzzle that was missing and now it's concluded.''

Llanos has undergone more than 20 surgeries for his injuries and still is in physical rehabilitation. He said he didn't know LePore and Ryan.

Ryan, LePore, and another student, 21-year-old Santino Cataldo of East Hanover, also were charged with witness tampering, obstructing the administration of law, and conspiracy.

The three friends and the unindicted co-conspirator - identified in the indictment as "M.K" - were together in the third-floor lounge on the morning of the fire. Videotapes from the dormitory's surveillance cameras show that Cataldo and M.K. left before the fire started. But police say all four later conspired to cover up the circumstances leading to the fire, and at a meeting in Madison, Ryan, LePore, and Cataldo tried to get M.K. to keep quiet about the events. All four men grew up in the same town.

Cataldo's father, Alfonso "Tic" Cataldo of Florham Park, was indicted last year on murder, conspiracy, and racketeering charges in a 20-year-old homicide case. The indictment described Alfonso Cataldo as an associate of the Luchese crime family. That case is pending.

Thomas Cataldo, who is Alfonso's son and Santino Cataldo's brother, said in an interview Thursday that the charges against both men were false.

Santino Cataldo and Ryan were suspended from Seton Hall following Thursday's indictment, said university officials. LePore left Seton Hall in the spring of 2000 and attended the University of Delaware at the time of the indictment.

LePore's father, Joseph E. LePore, 58, also was charged with witness tampering. His mother, Maria, 55, and 24-year-old sister, Lauren, together with the father and son, were charged with obstructing the administration of law, hindering apprehension or prosecution, and conspiracy. Lauren additionally was charged with perjury for testifying before the grand jury that she didn't know about her brother's involvement in the fire.

The family members' conversations in June, July, and August of 2001 were detailed in the indictment. Prosecutors would not comment on how they obtained the evidence.

Believing her son's arrest was imminent, Maria LePore advised him to continue to claim ignorance concerning the details of the fire and discussed his leaving the family home, according to the indictment. She allegedly counseled him to make certain he and another suspect, presumed to be Ryan, "stay united" in order to forestall the investigation or prosecution. In another conversation, the father suggested the family leave town so the son can avoid prosecution, according to the indictment.

Additionally, the indictment claims that Lauren and the parents were present for a conversation at 6 p.m. July 10, 2001, in which Joseph, the son, "recounted his involvement in the events of the fatal fire."

Asked about the alleged conversations, the son's attorney, William DeMarco, said: "Either they made them up out of whole cloth or they had some type of listening device.''

"It is very difficult for me to believe the family was trying to cover up something that never happened,'' said DeMarco, of Wayne, asserting his client's innocence. "They are straining to make a case against the mother, father, and sister because they want to apply pressure on the son."

He questioned why it took so long for the indictments to come down if prosecutors had evidence of the conversations in 2001.

The younger Joseph LePore faces additional counts in Morris County for the scuffle during his apprehension, after which the arresting officer was treated at a hospital. DeMarco said his client was acting reasonably. "What would you do if a guy jumped out of a car with New York plates with a gun?'' DeMarco said. "They could have just called me."

DeMarco said he will move today to seek a reduction in his client's bail. Likewise, Ryan's attorney, Michael Bubb of Morristown, said his client's bail is "unnecessarily high,'' given that Ryan has been around, attending Seton Hall, while the investigation has proceeded.

"Two million might as well be 10 million,'' Bubb said. "That's a lot of money for everyday people."

Bubb said it is unclear whether the Ryan family can continue to afford private counsel.

Ryan and LePore will likely be added to a wrongful death lawsuit that the families of six victims filed last year against the manufacturers of the dormitory furniture and ceiling tiles, said Ronald Goldfaden, an attorney for the Caltabilota family.

Seton Hall already has reached out-of-court settlements with at least 20 victims.

The indictments sparked mixed emotions for those who suffered that winter day more than three years ago.

"The first thing I did when I heard this was cry," said Lauren Simon, 22, of Bergenfield, who was living on the third floor of Boland Hall when the fire broke out and suffered smoke inhalation. "It's a mixture of every emotion: closure, happiness, sadness. For three years we've been in the dark and then they're showing all the pictures on TV again. It was really hard seeing all that again."

Staff Writers Scott Fallon, Mitchel Maddux, Daniel Sforza, Monsy Alvarado, Eman Varoqua, and Tom Davis contributed to this article.

* * *


Joseph T. LePore and Sean Ryan

Felony murder, first degree
Reckless manslaughter, second degree
Aggravated assault, second degree, (53 counts)
Arson, third degree
Conspiracy to commit arson, third degree
Causing widespread injury or damage
Conspiracy tampering with a witness
Tampering with a witness
Obstructing the administration of law
Hindering apprehension or prosecution
False swearing (LePore only)

Santino Cataldo

Tampering with a witness, third degree
Obstructing the administration of law, fourth degree
Hindering apprehension or prosecution, third degree
False swearing

Joseph E. LePore (father), Maria LePore, and Lauren LePore

Conspiracy, third degree
Obstructing the administration of law, fourth degree
Hindering apprehension or prosecution, third degree
Additionally, Joseph E. LePore was charged with tampering with a witness, third degree, and Lauren LePore was charged with perjury, third degree.

* * *

The Seton Hall fire and its aftermath


Jan. 19: A 4:30 a.m. blaze in the third-floor lounge of Boland Hall kills three students and injures 58 others. The dormitory did not have sprinklers.

Jan. 20: Some of the state's fire safety advisers begin calling for stricter sprinkler requirements, especially in dormitories.

Jan. 24: Funerals are held for the three dead students in West Long Branch, Vineland, and Dunellen.

Feb. 2: University says it will install sprinklers in Boland Hall and another dormitory, and expand the use of sprinklers in other dorms.

Feb. 16: South Orange admits it failed to conduct an annual inspection of the campus and did not keep adequate records of a previous inspection.

Feb. 20: Investigators say they are scrutinizing students on the third floor, including one who admitted tearing down a poster in the lounge.

Feb. 22: Five students testify before an Essex County grand jury.

Late February: Two of the most seriously injured students are released from the hospital. Two others, Alvaro Llanos and resident assistant Dana Christmas, both of Paterson, remain hospitalized.

Feb. 28: The Legislature takes its first step toward making New Jersey the first state in the nation to require sprinklers throughout every college dormitory.

March 1: State inspectors reveal that they have found more than 800 fire code violations at the university, including 35 in Boland Hall.

March 2: Gov. Christie Whitman warns officials at state colleges she will withhold money from schools that continually ignore fire code violations.

March 3: The U.S. Senate approves a bill requiring colleges to publicize their fire safety records. It has yet to become law.

March 23: Candy Karol, the mother of one of the dead students, implores state lawmakers to pass a sprinkler requirement for college dormitories.

April 7: Lawyers representing dead or injured students accuse Seton Hall of allowing a string of false alarms to lull students into complacency.

May 5: State officials say Seton Hall has corrected most of the fire code violations discovered after the Jan. 19 fire.

June 29: The Assembly passes a bill mandating sprinklers in every college dormitory by 2004. Whitman signs it a few days later.

Aug. 30: University officials prepare to pay a $12,600 fine for federal workplace safety violations, including a lack of training for resident assistants and not assessing what protective gear its employees should have.


Jan. 4: Essex County Prosecutor Donald C. Campolo confirms the fire was started by someone who ignited a couch in the lounge.

Jan. 18: Seton Hall breaks ground for memorial garden.

Jan. 24: Seton Hall reaches out-of-court settlements with families of 12 students killed or injured in the fire, even though no lawsuits have been filed against the university.

May 31: Alvaro Llanos sues Seton Hall, South Orange, and others. He later settles with Seton Hall.

June 2: Seton Hall settles a claim by the parents of John Giunta, paying $207,718.

June 13: Authorities announce they will pursue arson and criminal homicide charges against those responsible.

July 17: Authorities announce they have suspects in the case, and ask for a special grand jury to hear evidence.

July 27: A Superior Court judge grants the request for a grand jury, setting a deadline of March 15, 2002.

Aug. 11: State officials, citing "multiple failures" that exacerbated the Seton Hall fire, plan to study the level of fire safety at New Jersey colleges.

Oct. 12: Grand jury proceedings begin with a judge picking members.

Nov. 3: Dana Christmas and another severely injured student go to court seeking the results of authorities' investigation into the fire, so they can press lawsuits.


Jan. 18: Several victims and their families sue companies, government agencies, and individuals who they believe played a role in the fire.

March 6: Prosecutors get another three-month extension for the grand jury.

May 21: Dana Christmas graduates from Seton Hall.

June 1: Prosecutors get another three-month extension for the grand jury.

Sept. 11: Prosecutors get another three-month extension.

Dec. 11: Prosecutors get another three-month extension.


March 12: Prosecutors get another extension, until June 13.

May 11: Members of the freshman class who survived the fire graduate from Seton Hall.

June 11: Authorities arrest Sean Ryan and Joseph T. LePore, residents of Boland Hall at the time of the fire, charging them with arson and felony murder.

June 12: Authorities announce four other indictments, against LePore's father, mother, and sister, and against Santino Cataldo, another Seton Hall student.

14 posted on 06/13/2003 1:30:30 PM PDT by Coleus (God is Pro Life and Straight
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To: All
Two suspects' paths rarely diverged

Out of a circle of friends in Florham Park came two fun-loving teens, now suspects

Friday, June 13, 2003

Star-Ledger Staff

Joseph LePore and Sean Ryan were born six days apart in 1980, and they grew up together along the maple-shaded streets of Florham Park, friends since kindergarten. They shared sheltered, suburban childhoods, and after they graduated from Hanover Park High School, they stuck together as roommates at Seton Hall University.

Ryan was a skinny kid with a broad smile who had tried out for the high school freshman football team but didn't stay with it. LePore was more athletic, and he became a varsity basketball star. Along with a tight circle of grammar school friends, they were known around town as fun-loving and slightly mischievous young men.

In the early hours of Jan. 19, 2000, in the third-floor lounge of Seton Hall's Boland Hall dormitory, Ryan and LePore were doing exactly what so many teenagers imagine doing as college freshmen: partying with friends. In this case, officials said, the group included Santino "Tino" Cataldo, a fellow Florham Park native.

The lifelong friendships and deep sense of loyalty among these young men, forged during years of shared classes, sporting events and parties, posed major obstacles for investigators who were trying to piece together exactly what caused the subsequent lounge fire that killed three students and injured dozens, law enforcement sources said.

When indictments against LePore and Ryan were unsealed yesterday, acting Essex County Prosecutor Donald Campolo also announced charges against some of the people closest to them -- including Cataldo and three members of LePore's family -- for what Campolo said was an "ongoing conspiracy to obstruct and impede this investigation."

The friendship between LePore and Ryan, according to people who know them, dates to the fall of 1986, when they entered kindergarten at the Brooklake School -- a low-slung brick structure with a small, circular driveway out front. Ryan, along with Cataldo, was in Mrs. Young's class. LePore had Mrs. Lagraveni.

Ryan lived only a good softball toss from the Brooklake campus, in a gray clapboard bi-level with gray- blue shutters fronting on Briarwood Road. Ryan's parents later divorced and moved, but the house today is much as it was two decades ago: small and well-tended.

LePore grew up a mile and a half away on Woodbine Road, in a more affluent section of town, where Belgian block-style curbs and 10-foot decorative streetlamps give the neighborhood a quaint Old World feel. The LePore home is a two-story, center-hall Colonial, with a high-pitched roof and a poplar tree out front.

Parents of students who shared classes with LePore and Ryan remember them as good kids even if a little rambunctious. Peggy Atchinson, whose son Sean was a high school friend of Ryan and LePore, said she was shocked by the indictments related to the fire. "I can't believe it was not an accident," she said. "It does not sound like the boys we know."

Neither Ryan nor LePore spoke to reporters yesterday, and their families had little to say publicly. Michelle Ryan, Sean's mother, appeared tearful and distraught when interviewed at her condominium in Florham Park. "I love my son and I support him," she said, her voice shaky. "That's all I have to say."

Timothy Ryan said his son is a hard-working young man who always had lots of friends. "He has always been known as an outgoing, friendly boy with a broad smile and always working hard," he said. "He had a job every day of his life since he was 14, and everyone knew him from working at the Florham Park McDonald's."

Gabe Smith, who had the room next door to Lepore and Ryan in Boland Hall, said neither of his neighbors struck him as malicious or mean -- just unfocused and "goofy." Ryan was rarely around, he said. LePore was always watching TV. "They were sort of like Beavis and Butt-head, two cartoon idiots living together," Smith said.

Florham Park of the 1980s was a borough filled with young families -- a low-crime town with good schools and low property taxes, thanks to a vibrant commercial-industrial strip along the Columbia Turnpike. As the children have grown up and left, though, Florham Park has aged.

Ethnically, New Jersey has long been a state dominated by Irish, German and Italian immigrants and their descendants, and Florham Park is a case in point. Thirteen years ago, 80 percent of the population fit this profile, compared with 55 percent statewide. By the end of the 1990s, the town had become slightly more diverse, with new Chinese and Indian residents.

Like other kids in Florham Park, LePore and Ryan moved from the Brooklake School to Ridgedale Middle School -- and it was at Ridgedale, friends said, that the pair became fast friends. The two moved in different social circles, classmates said, but that didn't keep them from hanging out.

At Ridgedale -- an aging, two- story brick school with a clock tower topped by a golden arrow weather vane -- Ryan and LePore also became close to Cataldo. For some time, fellow students said, the three boys were inseparable in the schoolyard, with its broad expanse of green grass and its rusting bicycle stand.

If Ryan was the thin kid with the winning grin and LePore was the jock, Cataldo was the dark- haired, olive-skinned heartthrob. When the trio graduated from Hanover Park High School in 1999, a photograph in Pathways, their yearbook, showed Cataldo vamping for the girls at a school fund- raiser in which he and other boys were "auctioned" off.

The yearbook, subtitled "Uproar: Bringing Down the House," also included a number of pages of personal ads taken out by family members and friends of the graduating class. Those placed by the Ryan and LePore families suggested something of the close-knit world that surrounded both boys.

"Joey: It seems like only yesterday you were at Rainbow Montessori -- now college!" proclaimed an ad signed by LePore's parents and his sister, Lauren. "Congratulations! We wish you love, happiness, health and success in all you do."

LePore's girlfriend thanked him on another page for "showing me what a wonderful person you are."

Ryan's family wrote a poem that began with these lines: "Sean, you're the first born, the oldest of four. Many hours of turmoil you've had to endure, sometimes with patience, sometimes with annoyance. Belittled and berated, you still gave with compliance." It ended: "Just know that we love you and we're never far."

By deciding to attend Seton Hall, LePore and Ryan stayed close to their families. Freshman dormitory Boland Hall is just off South Orange Avenue, which continues west from Essex County into Morris County and eventually becomes Columbia Turnpike, the commercial thoroughfare in Florham Park.

In the early morning of Jan. 19, 2000, when the fire that would change their lives erupted, LePore and Ryan were less than 10 miles from home. Fourteen years after they first met, the kids from Florham Park were still together, still horsing around, at a party that would become a nightmare.

Staff writers Kate Coscarelli, Brian Donohue, Robert Gebeloff, Kelly Heyboer, Mary Ann Spoto and Guy Sterling contributed to this report.
15 posted on 06/13/2003 1:37:13 PM PDT by Coleus (God is Pro Life and Straight
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To: All
Two students charged in Seton Hall fire  

(06/12/03) NEWARK - Calling it a "painstaking" investigation, prosecutors have charged two students with arson and murder in the 2000 Boland Hall fire that killed three Seton Hall students. The two 21-year-olds, who deny any role in the fire, are being held on $2 million bail.

Joseph LePore of Florham Park and Sean Ryan of Livingston were both freshman living in Boland Hall at the time of the fire. Ryan still attends Seton Hall while LePore transfers and is now enrolled at the University of Delaware.

Prosecutors say LePore and Ryan used matches or a lighter to ignite a paper poster that had been torn down and placed on a couch. The fire stated at about 4:30 a.m. and 600 students living in the dorm had to be evacuated. In addition to the three students that died, more than 50 were injured.

Investigators say they interviewed hundreds of Boland Hall residents, recreated the fire and conducted an undercover investigation. LePore and Ryan are charged with felony murder, arson, aggravated assault and conspiring in a cover-up. LePore also faces additional charges in Morris County because he rammed a police vehicle while trying to avoid being captured.

While the grand jury investigation found no criminal liability on the part of the university, several others were charged. LePore's father, mother and sister were charged with obstruction of justice, hindering apprehension and conspiracy. LePore's sister is also charged with perjury.

Another student, Santino Cataldo of East Hanover, is charged with witness tampering, obstruction and conspiracy. Prosecutors say Cataldo met with Ryan and LePore two days after the fire and then lied to investigators. A fourth student, Rivano Andika of Jersey City, is charged with making terroristic threats for an alleged e-mail that promised more fires. Prosecutors are not, however, charging Andika for having a role in setting the blaze.

The January 2000 fire killed Frank Caltabilota of West Long Branch, John Giunta of Vineland and Aaron Karol of Green Brook. Click here to listen to family members talk about what the arrests mean to them.

The three men who died were honored last month at Seton Hall commencement ceremonies. Although most of the students who lived in Boland Hall during the fire graduated last month, the arrests created quite a stir on the Seton Hall campus. Click here for student reaction.

News 12 New Jersey has also covered stories on the jury term extension in the Seton Hall fire and the fire victims being honored at the school.

Share your views

16 posted on 06/13/2003 1:41:56 PM PDT by Coleus (God is Pro Life and Straight
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To: Coleus
Not to worry if they are convicted, the New Jersey Soprano's er Supreme Court will exonerate them.
17 posted on 06/15/2003 12:01:30 PM PDT by OldFriend (Hilary Knew)
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To: OldFriend
what exactly is the evidence against them? I see alot of innuendo in these articles, alot of "guilt by association" stuff.
18 posted on 06/15/2003 12:12:55 PM PDT by oceanview
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To: oceanview
I was thinking the same thing, nothing but circumstantial evidence. I guess it will come out in the case. The prosecutor interviewed on TV did state that arson is one of the toughest cases to prosecute. They probably interviewed those in attendance at the dorm party on that floor and did a process of elimination as to who did what and went where after the party, who smoked and owned cigarette lighters, etc. The police sort of knew within a week of the fire as to who did what and who were the main suspects. The hard part was getting around the obstruction of justice by the suspects and parents of the suspects. Time will tell and I will post the articles as they come out.
19 posted on 06/15/2003 6:16:09 PM PDT by Coleus (God is Pro Life and Straight
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To: OldFriend
You can say that again.
20 posted on 06/15/2003 6:17:14 PM PDT by Coleus (God is Pro Life and Straight
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