March 15, 2013

Damage, danger in shipyard fires get man 17 years

The sentence, which reflects Casey Fury's disregard for the safety of others, also seeks $400 million in restitution.

By Scott Dolan
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Casey James Fury

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Smoke rises from a Portsmouth Naval Shipyard dry dock as fire crews respond Wednesday, May 23, 2012, to a fire on the USS Miami SSN 755 submarine at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on an island in Kittery, N.H. Four people were injured.

AP photo

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"To lose a ship of the line is a serious matter," Breckenridge said at the hearing.

At a press conference afterward, he said, "It's an unfortunate tragedy, especially at a time when we need the Miami on the front lines."

Fury also set a fire on the exterior of the submarine on June 16 and sounded a false fire alarm on June 19.

One of the prosecutors, Assistant U.S. Attorney Darcie McElwee, argued that although the fire in May caused more damage, the fire in June was "more significant" because it showed that while Fury knew of the consequences of his action in the first fire, he acted again.

Fury's attorney, David Beneman, argued that his client suffers from anxiety that is now under control, and that the second fire indicated his criminal conduct was "de-escalating."

After setting a major fire, Fury moved on to one that caused little damage outside the ship, to a false alarm three days later, Beneman said.

He called Fury's behavior "immature" and "impulsive" but said he had learned the consequences of his actions.

Fury, in an orange prison uniform, with closely trimmed hair and black framed glasses, stood to address the court.

"I am truly sorry for what I've done," he said. "I only wish I had found proper help for problems before this happened."

Before the judge announced his sentence, he focused on the second fire that Fury set, on the dry dock cradle outside the submarine.

"I think the second fire in this case is especially troubling," Singal said. "It displays, in my mind, a callous disregard not only for the property involved, but for the safety of others after having seen what had occurred after the first fire."

U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty II said federal authorities have little expectation that Fury will pay the $400 million in restitution -- close to the estimated value of the damage to the submarine.

"The reality is, we will not collect very much of it," he said.

The judge ordered Fury to complete five years of supervised release after his prison term.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at

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United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II makes a statement during a press conference on Friday, March 15, 2012 at his Portland office regarding the former Portsmouth Naval Shipyard worker recently found guilty on federal arson charges.

Carl D. Walsh / Staff Photographer


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