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DA: Feds to handle fatal arson case

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (AP) - Prosecutors say the case against a 27-year-old upstate New York man accused of starting a fire that killed a man and three young children will be handled in federal court.

Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney says Tuesday federal arson investigators were involved early on in the probe of the May 2 fire in Schenectady and the nature of the evidence along with a wider range of sentencing possibilities - including a possible death penalty - drove the decision to move Robert Butler's case out of state court.

The Saratoga Springs man was charged in a federal complaint Tuesday with setting the blaze that killed 33-year-old David Terry, 3-year-old Layah Terry, 2-year-old Michael Terry, and 11-month-old Donavan Duell. Another child was badly burned.

Carney says he can't discuss the evidence or the motive. Butler had pleaded not guilty to a state arson charge.

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