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Man charged with murders of two in New London fire

Published April 14. 2012 11:39PM   Updated April 15. 2012 1:47PM
Tim Cook/The Day
Members of the Connecticut State Fire Marshal's Office and Connecticut State Police Major Crimes Unit work with the New London Fire Marshal's office and fire department Saturday morning April 14, 2012, in investigating the fatal fire at 36 Blinman Street in New London Friday night.

New London — Police late Saturday charged a resident of the building at 36 Blinman St. where a fire killed two residents with their murder.

Joel Matthews, 29, was charged with two counts of murder and one count of second-degree arson and was held on a $5 million bond, according to a release issued late Saturday night by Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio. He will be presented Monday in Superior Court.

Matthews, who lives on the second floor, told police he was arguing with first-floor residents Sherry Roush and Noel Starback when he struck them both with a blunt object, according to the release.

Matthews told police he set the house on fire in an attempt to conceal the crime, the release said.

"Detectives have worked around the clock to solve this case, the dedicated work of the men and women of the New London police department is second to none," Police Chief Margaret Ackley is quoted as saying in the release.

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