PLATTSBURGH — It was a somber moment for many Northern Adirondack elementary students Monday morning when they planted a tree in memory of Frank Davey III.

“It was the most beautiful thing that they could have done for us,” said the boy’s aunt, Ida Lamantia-Tedesco. “Knowing that he was loved and that they’re keeping his memory alive is a great comfort for us.

“We’re so grateful for what they have done for our family. We’re always going to cherish it.”

Lamantia-Tedesco attended the memorial and was given a copy of the school’s yearbook, which had a dedication to the soft-spoken boy, who died last September during an intentionally set fire that also claimed the life of his mother, Luciana Davey, 32.

Lamantia-Tedesco said his classmates planted “Frankie’s favorite kind” of tree, a weeping willow, near a stone memorial dedicated in his honor.

Though the dedication and award ceremony was heartwarming for the family, it was difficult too, Lamantia-Tedesco said.

“I just wish I could have seen him get an award … not see his name on a stone.”



FATHER SENTENCED

Hours after the ceremony, the 11-year-old’s father was sentenced to a year in jail for violating a protection order the night his family died in their Lyon Mountain home.

Authorities said Frank Davey Jr. was at the Second Street residence when the fire broke out and escaped the flames by jumping from a second-story window.

The 34-year-old Port Jervis man had been serving 45 days in the Clinton County Jail for previously violating the protection order but was released early on good behavior two days before the fire.

“Nobody even knew he was out,” Lamantia-Tedesco said. “Everybody thought he was still in jail because he was supposed to be in there for 45 days.”

She questions why Mr. Davey wasn’t immediately arrested the night of the fire for violating the order of protection.

Both Lamantia-Tedesco and her sister Karen Nasert said they hoped Mr. Davey would get the maximum sentence, especially since it was his second offense, but felt that a year was not enough.

Clinton County Family Court and Acting Integrated Domestic Violence Court Judge Timothy Lawliss said he thought Mr. Davey deserved more as well.

“I don’t think the maximum is harsh enough, but it’s all that I can do,” he said before he imposed a sentence of one year in jail, a $1,000 fine and $140 surcharge.



‘HOLLOW’ APOLOGY

Mr. Davey was composed when he heard the sentence, though he had requested leniency moments earlier.

“I believe losing my wife and son was a harsh punishment enough,” he said after apologizing for violating the order.

Before he was sentenced, Lawliss told Mr. Davey his “apology rings hollow.”

On Monday, State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Capt. Robert LaFountain said officials are continuing to investigate the arson fire.

Authorities have declined to say whether they have any suspects in the case. No arrests have been made.

Lamantia-Tedesco said her family cannot begin to heal until someone is held accountable for her loved one’s deaths.

Like his daughters, Mrs. Davey’s father, Joe Lamantia, hopes the arson investigation soon yields an arrest.

He was in Minnesota during the sentencing and said he “just couldn’t be there. It’s too much for me.”



E-mail Andrea VanValkenburg at:

avanvalkenburg@pressrepublican.com