New hearing ordered in Detroit fireman's death

DETROIT (AP) -- The Michigan appeals court has ordered a new hearing to determine the prison sentence for a man whose fire killed a Detroit firefighter.

Mario Willis was sentenced to at least 41 years in prison for second-degree murder. The appeals court says Wayne County Judge Michael Callahan must better explain why he went beyond the usual sentencing guidelines. It's possible that Willis still will get the same punishment.

Willis was accused of paying a handyman $20 to burn down an abandoned two-story house that was owned by his girlfriend. Detroit firefighter Walter Harris died while trying to put out the fire in November 2008. The roof collapsed on him.

The man who set the fire pleaded guilty and testified against the 31-year-old Willis.

Published: Tue, Nov 6, 2012