3 Firefighters Died In East Hills FireBy Lisa Washington

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – In a matter of hours, Gregory Brown, Jr., could be a free man. Brown spent nearly 20 years behind bars, after he was convicted in the 1995 fire at a home in the East Hills.

Three firefighters were killed in the fire. Brown was charged with arson and three counts of second-degree murder.

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In 2014, he won the right to have a re-trial, after his attorneys, working with attorneys at the Innocence Project, proved there was misconduct by a federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent. The attorneys argued the ATF agent paid a witness to lie in court.

Brown will now be released from the Allegheny County Jail, because his re-trial will be held in federal court.

“We’re ecstatic that he’s being released,” said Dave Fawcett, one of the attorneys representing Brown.

Fawcett is an attorney with Reed Smith, LLP.

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About his client’s release, he added, “That’s awesome. It would have happened years ago, if federal ATF officers hadn’t covered up the really bad stuff they’d done years ago to get a conviction.”

Fawcett said the attorneys wanted Brown’s case to be dismissed or remain at the state level.

“We were ready to go in state court. There will be more delays, we’ll have a new judge, we’ll have a new process, and this is a kid who has been in prison for 20 years,” he said.

Brown, who is now 39, will be released into the custody of a relative. Fawcett describes the case as a double tragedy.

“It couldn’t be a bigger tragedy for the firefighters who lost their lives, but they and the families were misled by the ATF,” Fawcett said. “ATF said this was an arson. It wasn’t. Our client is innocent, that’s why we’re involved that’s why the Innocence project is involved and what we are going to prove and have proved is that the conviction was the result of really bad misconduct by the government. It should have never happened.”

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