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Life Without Parole For JC Man Who Set Fire And Killed Two Young Boys

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Dwight Burton is sentenced to life without parole for setting the fire that killed two young boys in a Johnson City apartment in October 2015. It's a sentence that will never bring back Michael and Joshua Maxwell who were 3 and 4 years old, but prosecutors say with no death penalty in New York State, it's the best the justice system can do for the two boys.

Michael and Joshua's parents addressed the court, standing side by side and wearing t-shirts with their son's pictures printed on them. Erica Kurtz, the boys' mother, says last year would have been Joshua's first year of school, while her younger son would have been starting this year.

"But instead of getting ready for the first year of school, I was buying candles for their vigil," says Kurtz.

Michael Maxwell Sr. tells the judge, "I'm a broken man." He asks the court to hand down the maximum sentence.

Burton maintains his innocence. Standing in court on Wednesday beside his attorney Allen Stone, who he tried to fire mid-trial, Burton blamed Judge Cawley, Stone, police, and witnesses for the position in which he found himself today; Facing a lifetime in state prison.

Burton says his requests for a new lawyer were "ignored and denied." Burton has had three attorneys throughout this case. Judge Cawley responded, saying Burton has no one's actions but his own to blame for how the case turned out. 

"Two young boys died on account of your actions, nobody else's. This is not Mr. Stone's fault, it's not any of the witnesses' faults, it's not my fault," says Cawley.

Prosecutor Michael Korchak says the Broome County District Attorney's Office is satisfied with the sentence. 

"It's clear from the probation report, as well as his actions in court, that he continues to place his interests above that of society," says Korchak of Burton's lack of remorse.

Burton set the fire on October 19, 2015 with multiple people in the Floral Ave apartment house. Prosecutors say it was his ex-girlfriend Jessica Baxter who he meant to kill with the blaze. Baxter and all the other tenants escaped the flames, except for the two boys.