WOBURN -- A former Lowell man who has spent 32 years in prison for a 1982 arson fire that killed eight people will walk out of prison on Thursday after the judge who overturned his convictions released Victor Rosario on bail.
With his head in his hands, Rosario, now 57, sobbed as Middlesex Superior Court Judge Kathe Tuttman released him on $25,000 cash bail with conditions that he wear a GPS monitoring device, abstain from alcohol, submit to random alcohol screens, not leave the state and do not apply for a passport.
Rosario's wife, Beverly, was scheduled to post the bail on Thursday so that her husband can be released from MCI-Norfolk by the end of the day, according to Rosario's lawyers Lisa Cavanaugh and Andrea Petersen.
It is a chilling coincidence that on the same day Rosario was released from prison, the city is reeling from an unrelated fire at 73-81 Branch St. that killed seven people.
After the bail hearing, Cavanaugh and Petersen said Rosario is thrilled with the prospect of having a life with his wife of 20 years, Beverly, on the other side of the prison walls. The couple will live in Brighton, where Rosario's wife owns a home, and will be an active member of a Baptist church on Tremont Street in Boston.
While behind bars, Rosario became an ordained Baptist minister.
Until Monday, Rosario was serving life in prison for setting a five-alarm fire at 32-36 Decatur St. in Lowell during the early-morning hours of March 5, 1982 that killed eight people, including five children.
But on Monday, Tuttman issued a 99-page ruling that overturned Rosario's arson and murder convictions based on advances in fire science and new information in the area of false confessions.
The Middlesex District Attorney's Office, which opposed Rosario's release, has filed a notice that it will appeal Tuttman's ruling vacating Rosario's convictions.
For more on this story see Friday's Sun or visit http://www.lowellsun.com.