OCT. 19, 2008 - Investigators section off a portion of downtown Kansas City as they investigate a fire that broke out in the early-morning hours at Hereford House
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A federal jury convicted three men for burning down a Kansas City landmark, the downtown Hereford House, in 2008.
Rod Anderson simply stared down at his hands as the judge read guilty on all counts. The man once described as the face of Hereford House could face 55 years in jail.
Vince Pisciotta and Mark Sorrentino could face 35 years in jail, found guilty of arson, conspiracy to commit arson, and use of fire to commit a federal offense. All three will be in prison for no less than 15 years.
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Jurors believe it was them caught in surveillance video planning the arson weeks before and in the act on October 20th, 2008.
Prosecutors believe Anderson never thought the tape would survive.
"Obviously that was the backbone on which the case was built, and it was very beneficial Mr. Anderson didn't realize the tapes were up there, " said U.S. Attorney David Ketchmark.
Prosecutors believe a dummy VCR fooled Anderson and left proof of the arson. Phone records and Mark Sorrentino's ex-wife became proof that Sorrentino and Pisciotta set the fire, but a third man seen in the video that night has never been charged.
"If there are other people accountable and if evidence that's credible comes to light that would allow us to charge the fourth individual you bet our office be interested in pursuing that," Ketchmark said.
Attorneys are already assembling appeals because Jennifer Sorrentino's testimony was kept secret, protecting her from Her ex-husband and Pisciotta after the FBI revealed they have connections to organized crime. Jennifer collected the $10,000 reward.
"I don't dispute Mrs. Sorrentino provided an important part of the process," said Ketchmark.
The judge ruled all three defendants would immediately be taken into custody. Family members wept as they waved goodbye.
Sentencing will be decided in a few months.
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