December 3, 2022


Born to perform

Former Salem repair shop owner found guilty in arson | News

2 min read


SALEM — The previous proprietor of a North Salem automobile maintenance business enterprise was convicted of arson prices early Monday afternoon by a Lawrence Outstanding Court jury.

Robert T. Cole, 54, of Salisbury, was taken into custody pending sentencing on July 14.

He was observed guilty of burning a constructing and burning a setting up to defraud an insurance provider. He faces a full of up to 15 yrs in prison.

Cole was the proprietor of Great Transmission on Franklin Street, a enterprise his father experienced started back in 1959.

But by the summer of 2017 he was enduring money difficulties and had fallen into arrears on his rent to the building’s proprietor, Goldberg Attributes.

The landlord had acquired an eviction order, prosecutor Anne Marie Gochis informed jurors, but experienced provided Cole time to uncover a new locale for the thousands of pounds in automotive restore tools he experienced inside the residence.

The deadline was Sept. 7, 2017. and two times soon after that, his small business insurance plan was thanks to lapse because of to non-payment.

On the evening of Sept. 6, 2017, the hearth was discovered by a Salem officer who was driving together North Avenue when she smelled and then noticed hefty smoke.

The fire prompted an believed $500,000 in injury to the framework — injury so substantial it was unachievable to conclusively condition a lead to, Gochis instructed jurors.

But she experienced urged jurors to focus on shifting statements by Cole to fireplace, police and coverage investigators in the months just after the blaze, and the timing.

Cole’s lawyer, Scott Gleason, experienced instructed that his client’s steps, such as demonstrating up at the scene of the fireplace that evening, have been not people of a guilty male.

Gleason instructed jurors his shopper had left the business that evening to meet another person about purchasing some of the machines inside of.

The demo bought underway before this thirty day period and took spot around the program of various times among June 17 and Monday.

Decide Kathleen McCarthy Neyman revoked Cole’s $2,500 bail next the verdict and ordered him into custody.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by e mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be achieved at 978-338-2521, by e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis


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