Derrick Guilder pleads guilty to murder in the death of his girlfriend

December 08, 2017 06:22 PM

FORT EDWARD - Derrick Guilder killed the woman he loved and now he'll pay the price.

The 22-year-old admitted in court Friday afternoon that he started the September fire in Hudson Falls that took the life of Ashley Coltrain.

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Prosecutors say Coltrain who was just shy of 19-years-old, was breaking up with Guilder and if he couldn't have her, he wanted them both to die.

So he started a fire in the downstairs of the home, using newspaper, including the obituary of Ashley's mother who'd passed away suddenly just a week and a half earlier.

Guilder had a change of heart after starting the fire and escaped through a window and onto the roof where police and firefighters rescued him.

Ashley called 9-1-1, but never made it out.

Washington County District Attorney says Tony Jordan say Guilder agreed to plead guilty after hearing the recording of that phone call.

"What we had here is a person who planned his actions. He contemplated throughout the day on September 5, set them into motion and never did anything to try to save Ashley."

Guilder will be sentenced next month to 22 years to life in prison. Jordan says Guilder, who was on suicide watch in jail, seemed to be genuinely remorseful, and didn't want Coltrain's family to have to listen to the 9-1-1 recording at trial.

"That tells me he was in that rare instance in these types of cases, regretful for what he did, not just being regretful for having gotten caught," said Jordan.


Mark Mulholland

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