Teens accused in Shakespeare Theatre fire face separate arson charges
Two of the three teenagers accused of burning down the historic Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford were in Waterbury Superior Court Thursday for another alleged arson incident.
Vincent Keller and Christopher Sakowicz, both seniors at Bunnell High School, are accused of setting fire to a vacant cottage in Southbury. They are 18 years old, but were 17 at the time the alleged arson occurred.
Even though they were charged as juveniles, the judge moved their case to adult court just as a Bridgeport judge did in the Shakespeare Theatre case.
The fire was sparked in an empty cottage owned by the State of Connecticut Southbury Training School. It occurred just two days after the iconic Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford burned down.
A judge set Keller and Sakowicz’s bond at $100,000. Both have been in custody since their arrests earlier this week.
Keller's attorney Frank Riccio tried to downplay his client's behavior.
“As the case develops, you will see there is a pattern and a distinct difference between my client and the co-defendant. I can't say much more than that,” he told News 12. “He's been remorseful, he's been cooperative, he has really done everything he can since this initially all came to light.”
The arrest warrants show Keller and Sakowicz only confessed when confronted with the evidence against them. That included texts from Keller to his girlfriend, which include:
"Goodnight we're going to burn down Shakespeare" and later "DO NOT TELL A SOUL ABOUT TONIGHT."
Keller also allegedly texted Sakowicz: "My brother are work has made national news they're talking about this in Atlanta." (Eds: The spelling "are" instead of "our" in the text is as the text reads.)
Other warrants may be coming for additional fires, including incidents at Silver Sands State Park in Milford and two in West Haven.
Another Bunnell student, 17-year-old Logan Caraballo, was also charged in the Shakespeare Theatre case.