After spending nearly three years behind bars, a Canandaigua woman convicted of setting fire to her 41 Saltonstall St. home in order to collect insurance will get a second chance to argue her case.
Not because the evidence didn’t support a guilty verdict, but because of the way she was questioned in Ontario County Court.
On June 9, the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division reversed the 2014 judgement in Ontario County Court convicting Shallamar L. Hayward-Crawford of multiple counts of arson, attempted insurance fraud and conspiracy. The December 2013 fire destroyed her property and caused damage to two neighboring properties.
Also found guilty of identical charges in separate trials were Hayward-Crawford’s husband, Samuel F. Crawford, and family friend, William (Bill) Bradley Jr.
While Supreme Court justices found original trial evidence supported the jury verdict, they said Hayward-Crawford, now 33, was “denied a fair trial based upon the cumulative effect of the prosecutor’s misconduct during jury selection, cross-examination and summation.”