WORCESTER, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The man accused of intentionally setting a multi-family building on fire in Palmer while two people were inside was in court today.

Joseph Gulluni, Jr.'s case was moved to Worcester District Court due to the fact that his cousin is Hampden County's District Attorney.

Tonight, he remains behind bars without bail.

Today was not the first time Joseph Gulluni, Jr. faced a judge, and, during today's dangerousness hearing, his criminal history was brought up.

Joseph Gulluni, Jr. stood before a Worcester District Court, charged with arson and attempted murder, among other charges.

As the judge decided if he was a threat to the public, the Commonwealth noted Gulluni Jr.'s lengthy criminal history.

"In addition, the defendant does have a record of prior involvement, including a state prison sentence from 1994 for a conviction out of the Hampden Superior Court," noted prosecutors.

In addition to that conviction, in October of 2010, Gulluni Jr. was charged with operating under the influence and assault and battery on a police officer.

Both charges were eventually dropped.

In August of 2013, Gulluni Jr. was found guilty of a second offense of operating under the influence and assault and battery on a police officer.

Just last year, he was charged with a third offense of operating under the influence, and negligent operation of a motor vehicle, among others.

Those charges are still pending.

Gulluni Jr.’s defense attorney asked the court to at least recognize that the early 1990’s crimes, brought up by the prosecutor, happened when Gulluni, Jr. was much younger.

"You’re not dealing with that same person. You’re dealing with someone who is seated before you today who is a father, who is a business owner, who is in his sixties, a much different person than his record. I think his record can be read differently. I think his record should be read as a redemption story. This is someone who did a lengthily state prison sentence in his twenties, got out, and made himself with three kids, a house, several businesses, very successful. His record should not be used as a detriment. It should be used a beacon of light on behalf of the person Mr. Gulluni is," Daniel Kelly, Gulluni, Jr.'s defense attorney, tells us.

The judge decided in favor of the Commonwealth, holding Gulluni, Jr. without the right to bail.

"The facts of the case, where the defendant set fire to a building that he owned at a time he would have been aware the tenants would be present, placing them in jeopardy. Based on all things, the defendant is dangerous and we ask he be held without bail," stated Worcester County Assistant District Attorney Joseph Simmons.

Gulluni, Jr. is scheduled to be back in Worcester District Court on September 13.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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