Man convicted in 2006 Branford arson/murder freed by judge

NEW HAVEN — A man’s conviction in connection with a 2006 arson / murder case was dismissed at the request of prosecutors.

John Vailette was convicted in 2015 of setting fire to Kathy Hardy’s Branford home March 7, 2006 while she was sleeping. In August, he had been granted a new trial, however a witness in the case has since passed away.

Prosecutors also failed to share information about a prosecution witness with the defense team in the case.

The motion said, “In this regard, on August 23, 2018, the Court advised the parties that it was granting the defendant Vailette’s motion for new trial. In view of the fact that a necessary witness for a new trial passed away post-trial and, therefore, is not available to testify, together with the post-trial discovery of certain Giglio materials, see Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972), relating to a prosecution witness that should have been disclosed — and if they had been known to the trial team would have been disclosed — to the defense, the Government has concluded that the instant prosecution should not go forward.”