'Crash' and 'Snagglepuss' indicted in arson death - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

'Crash' and 'Snagglepuss' indicted in arson death

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BRANFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Two men were indicted for the 2006 arson murder of a woman in Branford.

The U.S. States Attorney for Connecticut said John Vailette, 42, and Steven Martone, 45, were charged with starting the fire that killed 39-year-old Kathy Hardy.

Federal officials said the indictment was returned on Wednesday.

Vailette, whom officials said went by the names "Snagglepus" and "John John", was already incarcerated.

Martone, who went by the nickname "Crash," was arrested Friday in his North Branford home.

"These two defendants are charged with setting the fire that killed Kathy Hardy, a mother of three, in 2006," said U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly.

Investigators said the fire at 27 Little Bay Lane happened around 8:45 a.m. on April 2, 2006. The single-family home was rented by Hardy.

Firefighters reported finding her body on the second floor. An autopsy revealed she died from smoke inhalation. The medical examiner classifered her death as a homicide.

"This was a callous and horrific crime," said Patricia Ferrick, the FBI special agent in charge. "That the dedicated investigators never relented in their pursuit of justice is a tribute to them and their respective agencies."

Investigators said they found a truck used by Vailette that was hidden shortly after the fire. It contained a silver serving platter and jewelry that belonged to Hardy.

After the fire, officials said Vailette and Martone made incriminating statements to other people.

"We seek justice for Ms. Hardy, her family and loved ones," Daly said.

In convicted, officials said Vailette and Martone face up to life in prison or the death penalty, should the government pursue it.

Copyright 2014 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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