Man Freed Following Plea Deal In 1995 Fire-Related Deaths

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) – A Battle Creek man who was granted a new trial after his conviction in the 1995 fire-related deaths of two young brothers in southern Michigan has been freed following a plea deal.

48-year-old Andrew Babick, who had been serving a life sentence for felony murder, left the Calhoun County courthouse Wednesday.

Babick was granted a new trial in November. Rather than going to trial, Babick pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He already served 18 years, more than the maximum penalty for the new charge.

Babick was accused of starting a house fire in September 1995 because he was mad at a man who sold him crack cocaine. Babick denied that. Two adults escaped, but 3-year-old Le’Daryus Fields and 2-year-old Le’Tonio Briggs died.

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