It’s impossible to erase the Seton Hall dorm fire from our minds. What is called the “worst dorm fire in U.S. history” killed three university students and injured more than 50 others. And now, one of the arsonists who started the blaze back in 2000 is a free man.
Sean Michael Ryan is out on parole Wednesday morning after serving just 16 months in prison.
The family members of those who died in the fire, Aaron Karol of Green Brook, Frank Caltabilota Jr. of West Long Branch and John Giunta of Vineland, appealed to the parole board to keep the men behind bars to no avail.
"All they did was run and remain hidden for seven years," Joe Karol of Green Brook told The Star-Ledger. "They are not deserving of even a consideration of early release."
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Ryan, 28, and Joseph T. Lepore, 28, were former roommates at the university. They plead guilty in November 2006, admitting they set a banner on fire in Boland Hall on January 19, 2000.
Both men received five-year sentences under terms of a plea deal.
LePore will be eligible for parole review later this year.