Court rejects appeal of convicted Naugatuck arsonist

HARTFORD — The state Appellate Court has rejected the appeal of a convicted arsonist who burned down an apartment building in Naugatuck in 2006.

Ryan Ramey claimed that the evidence against him was insufficient to prove that he intentionally set the fire to the six-family house, that he intended to destroy the building, and that he believed the apartments were occupied.

An appeals panel unanimously rejected Ramey’s claims and upheld his convictions for first-degree arson and interfering with a police officer. In February 2009, he received a 12-year prison sentence, suspended after eight years.

At his sentencing, Ramey stated that he did not remember setting fire to the apartment building at 84 High St., or police trying to talk him out of the building, or leaping from a second-floor balcony and landing face-first on the pavement just before flames engulfed the house.

He also cited an addiction to alcohol. His blood-alcohol content was more than three times the legal limit for driving of .08 percent at the time of his arrest, according to hospital records.

Ramey, 34, told his sentencing judge that he was distraught because his ex-fiancee had left him and taken his two young sons weeks before the incident.

He called the woman on the morning of the fire and indicated a desire to commit suicide, and she then contacted Naugatuck police.

Police officers arrived to find Ramey barricaded in the building. Police tried to make telephone contact 20 times, but he refused to speak to officers.

Police noticed the house going up in flames after an hour on the scene. Ramey came out on a balcony at one point, but retreated back inside. He jumped about 30 minutes later.