Men on Trial for House Fire, Death of a Homeless Woman Last November

Two men were arrested and charged with the death of a homeless woman who was killed in a fire in November 2016 in Roxbury, according to court documents.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts alleges that Marcus Dozier, 46, and Kenneth Ford, 43, intentionally set a Roxbury house on fire on November 5, 2016 and allegedly told witnesses that they were planning to do so, according to court documents.

Michelle Trentor, a homeless 29-year-old woman who was in the building that night, died from smoke inhalation and thermal injuries, the Commonwealth said.

The home that was set on fire was an abandoned building at 94 George St. that was known to be used by homeless folks and drug dealers, Boston police and firefighters said, according to court documents.

The state argued that the defendants gave multiple warnings about their intentions, which led to Trentor’s death and life-threatening injuries sustained by Luis Maldonado, a 37-year-old homeless man who staggered out of the burning house that morning while in flames. Boston Water and Sewer workers saw the man and notified police on the morning of November 5, 2016, according to court documents.

A witness said Ford cried after learning about Trentor’s death and Maldonado’s injuries from the flames.

Ford claimed he “didn’t know they were there” inside the building, a witness said, according to court documents.

Dozier allegedly told people to leave the building hours before the fire that morning, and Ford had texted someone to brag about the arson that same day, the state argued. The duo also set a blanket on the first floor on fire the day before in an attempt to burn down the house, the Commonwealth alleged.

Suffolk District Attorney spokesman Jake Wark speculated that the building might have been burned down in fear that  “workers entering the house might find evidence of past criminal conduct,” the Boston Herald reported.

Court records quoted Dozier saying, “Something in that house that needed to be got rid of,” according to a witness.

Both Dozier and Ford, who are believed to be homeless, were arrested in early July and were charged with second-degree felony murder and arson and are being held without bail. They are expected to appear in court on August 3.

 

Jordan Frias

Jordan Frias is an editorial assistant at Boston Herald and a contributor of Spare Change News. He is vice president of the New England Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and a graduate of Northeastern University's School of Journalism.

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