Milford, Lyndeborough men avoid jail in Massachusetts firebombing

FITCHBURG, Mass. – Three local men were allegedly involved in a firebombing incident in Fitchburg, Mass. in which a Massachusetts resident was sentenced to prison last week.

Joseph E. Brown, of Lyndeborough, and Kyle DeWispelaere, of Milford, had been charged along with John Yang in the 2013 firebombing of a Fitchburg home occupied by a woman and her young child.

Yang, 33, formerly of Fitchburg, was found guilty of malicious explosion and arson of a dwelling after a jury trial in Worcester County Superior Court and sentenced to 16-18 and 10-12 year concurrent sentences.

Brown and DeWispelaere, who allegedly carried out the firebombing, received no jail time and neither did a third man, Stephen M. Silva of Milford, identified as the driver of the car used in the attack. Silva was also arrested, but didn’t testify at the trial.

According to the Fitchburg Sentinel and Enterprise, on July 7, 2013, police pulled over Brown and DeWispelaere a few minutes after they allegedly lit and tossed 40-ounce bottles filled with gasoline and rags at the home of Shaun Hibbard. Hibbard’s wife, Elizabeth, was home at the time with their child. She was able to douse the flames to prevent them from spreading.

Shaun Hibbard was Yang’s former roommate, who he believed had stolen drugs and guns from him. Hibbard was shot and killed about a month later at the corner of Forest and Charles streets in Fitchburg. His killer remains unknown.

The two men who attempted to torch the home testified that Yang, who regularly sold them heroin, was the person who had requested the attack and was planning to pay them with $1,000 worth of the narcotic.

During the trial, Brown and DeWipelaere admitted they were offered probation in exchange for their testimony.