Nicole Chuminski was convicted in Suffolk Superior Court today of setting the blaze that killed two young girls in South Boston in 2008, bringing closure to a sad event that shocked the city and rattled the closely knit neighborhood.
Chuminski, now 27, said nothing as the jury announced they found her guilty of arson, two counts of second degree murder, and two counts of assault and battery for setting the April 6, 2008, fire that killed 14-year-old Acia Johnson and her 3-year-old sister, Sophia.
The Globe chronicled Acia Johnson's short life in 2008.
Second degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after serving 15 years.
Sentencing was set for Thursday morning by Suffolk Superior Court Judge Frank Gaziano.
While flanked by trial prosecutors David Fredette and Julie Higgins, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said that while the girls were part of a dysfunctional family, to each other they were sisters who loved each other deeply.
"These two young girls should not have died,'' Conley said. "I hope this gives their family some sense of justice and relief.''
He added, "This arson, and the deaths of these children and …how they were found by firefighters that day, I think struck a chord with all of us… This was a horrific crime and Nicole Chuminski needed to be held accountable, and that's what happened in court today.''
Chuminksi's attorney, William M. White Jr., said he was "disappointed'' with the verdict.
Throughout the trial, Fredette argued that Chuminski was in a fit of rage after fighting with Anna Reisopolous, the girls’ mother and her lover of a few months, at a wedding reception the night before in Weymouth.
After yelling at Reisopolous from the street, she threw the firebomb at the front door, Fredette argued.
Reisopolous is being held in a county jail on unrelated charges.
She and her son, Raymond Jr., Acia’s twin, testified during the trial that they heard Chuminski swearing at Reisopolous from the street just before the fire started.
Reisopolous and Raymond Jr. escaped and called for Acia to bring down Sophia, but she could not make it through the thick smoke.
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