Jury Reaches Verdict in Hereford House Arson Trial
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After a day of deliberations, a federal jury reached a verdict Wednesday in the Hereford House arson trial. The jury found Rod Anderson guilty of all four charges, including arson, conspiracy, mail fraud and using fire to commit a federal crime. Mark Sorrentino and Vincent Pisciotta were found guilty on all counts except mail fraud.
Last week, jurors heard five days of testimony and saw surveillance video showing two men starting the Oct. 20, 2008 fire in the bar area of the restaurant. Prosecutors claimed Anderson hired Sorrentino and Pisciotta to torch the restaurant for insurance money.
Defense attorneys argued that Anderson wasn’t financially desperate and noted that there was no DNA or fingerprint evidence at the scene, and that there wasn’t any proof that the two men seen in the video were the defendants.
Federal arson carries a minimum sentence of five years; using fire to commit a federal crime carries a minimum sentence of 10 years. Anderson faces a maximum of 55 years in prison. Mark Sorrentino and Vincent Pisciotta could serve 15 years each.