Appellate court tosses sentence stemming from firefighter's death

DETROIT (AP) — A man convicted in an arson that killed a Detroit firefighter will be returning to court for his sentence — for a third time.

The Michigan appeals court threw out Mario Willis’ 41-year prison sentence Wednesday and took a Wayne County judge off the case.

Willis was accused of paying a handyman $20 to burn down an abandoned house in 2008. The roof collapsed, killing firefighter Walter Harris.

In a 2-1 decision, the appeals court says Judge William Callahan again erred by failing to fully explain why he chose a sentence above the guidelines.

The 34-year-old Willis was convicted of second-degree murder. He’ll remain behind bars while he awaits the next court hearing.

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