Andrew Ho, 23, of Hyannis, pleaded guilty in Hampshire Superior Court, yesterday, Oct. 22, to one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury and four counts of wanton destruction of property over $1,200 in connection with an April 29, 2018 Amherst apartment house fire.
Judge Richard Carey sentenced Ho to two years of probation on the four counts of destruction of property, along with restitution payments to be determined to be paid to the landlord at 285 Main St. and to three residents. The assault and battery charge was continued without a finding for a period of two years of probation, to be served concurrently, with multiple conditions.
Assistant District Attorney Matthew Thomas, who prosecuted the case, said that Ho set off fireworks inside an apartment, seriously injuring one person and displacing 21 others. Ho videotaped his actions and posted the video to Snapchat. He later admitted to police that he had set the fireworks then left the apartment with friends, not realizing burning embers remained, Thomas said.
“The defendant’s foolish actions caused former residents of the apartments continued psychological harm,” Thomas said. “That they didn’t result in one or more deaths is thanks to the efforts of firefighters and police.”