Ex-volunteer firefighter Caleb Lacey leaves the Nassau County Courthouse after...

Ex-volunteer firefighter Caleb Lacey leaves the Nassau County Courthouse after being found guilty of setting an arson fire that killed four people in Lawrence. (Feb. 19, 2010) Credit: Howard Schnapp

A former probationary volunteer firefighter convicted in February of setting a horrific fire that killed a Lawrence mother and three of her children is expected to be sentenced Friday in Nassau County Court.

Caleb Lacey, 20, could be sentenced to serve a maximum of 25 years to life in prison by Nassau County Court Judge Jerald Carter.

It will be the first time that Lacey has been in court since the dramatic verdict in his case. Then, following the forewoman's reading of the verdict, he lunged toward the courtroom gallery and was subdued by about a dozen court officers.

Lacey, 20, of Lawrence, was convicted of murder and arson charges in the fire that killed Morena Vanegas, 46; her stepson, Saul Preza, 19; and her two daughters, Andrea, 10, and Susanna, 9. Vanegas' husband, Edit Vanegas, escaped the fire by jumping out a window with his two young sons.

Edit Vanegas and two of Morena Vanegas' sisters are expected to make statements at the sentencing.

Prosecutor Michael Canty contended throughout the trial that Lacey had set the fire so that he could respond to it and act as a hero in saving the residents.

Lacey's lawyer, Christopher Cassar of Huntington, said his client was innocent and tried to cast suspicion on Edit Vanegas.

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