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BREAKING: Man Arrested For Murder, Arson After Walnut Street Fire Leaves One Dead

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A Binghamton man has been arrested and accused of murder and arson after a man was found dead in a flaming house on Walnut Street. Police say Wilfredo Pica-Torres entered the first floor apartment of 109 Walnut Street in the early hours of Saturday February 9th and beat the two occupants with a blunt object.

One of the residents, 61-year-old Victor Banayan, was killed, an autopsy showing the cause of death to be blunt force trauma. Police say a 27-year-old female, also living in the apartment, was also beaten and suffered extensive injuries and multiple broken bones. She escaped the house along with three adults and four children from the upstairs apartment. The unnamed female victim has been hospitalized for her injuries. 

Investigators say Pica-Torres used a flammable liquid to ignite the house. Later that evening, police located him barricaded inside a vacant apartment on Thorp Street. That building had multiple apartments and the tenants were evacuated while a SWAT team arrived. Allegedly, Pica-Torres also started a fire at that location before he exited the building and was taken into custody.

Pica-Torres has been arraigned in Binghamton City Court and remanded to the Broome County Sheriff's custody. 

The charges are below:

  • Murder in the 2nd degree
  • Burglary in the 1st degree
  • Arson in the 2nd degree (2 counts, one for each location)