Judge weighing dueling confessions in Pa. arson

AP News
Posted: Nov 15, 2011 10:45 AM
Judge weighing dueling confessions in Pa. arson

A Pennsylvania judge has an unusual question to unravel: whose confession to believe?

A woman who pleaded guilty in a 2008 arson is seeking relief after an alleged serial arsonist said he set the fire.

The Times-Tribune of Scranton reports Stephen Giacobbe told the court Monday that he set a roll of tar paper on fire in the basement of the Carbondale Township home on December 15, 2008.

Holly Lynn Dougher pleaded guilty last year to misdemeanor charges related to the same fire. She told police she poured gasoline on the unfinished house and lit it with a match.

Dougher's petition was filed after Giacobbe claimed responsibility for the blaze in a letter to The Times-Tribune (http://bit.ly/w0ieyw).

State police say both confessions are plausible.

Dougher's attorney is seeking testimony from more witnesses.