Pa. man convicted for 3rd time of murder, arson in 1985 fire

Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A man has been convicted for a third time in what authorities called an arson in a Philadelphia row home that killed his two young sons more than three decades ago.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that a jury deliberated for seven hours over two days before convicting 59-year-old Daniel Dougherty of second-degree murder and arson.

Judge J. Scott O’Keefe immediately sentenced him Monday to two consecutive life terms, saying “The acts that evening were despicable.”

Dougherty was sentenced to death after his first convictions in the 1985 deaths of 4-year-old Daniel and 3-year-old John, but that was reduced to a life sentence in 2012.

He and his supporters contended that earlier verdicts were tainted by key testimony from a fire investigator they say used out-of-date and discarded arson-investigation techniques.  
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Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.inquirer.com

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