DANVERS — A serial arsonist who served eight years in prison after burning down the Danvers Butchery will now be required to wear a GPS monitor tracking his whereabouts at all times, after he admitted to violating his probation.
The probation violations, including failing to attend counseling and skipping meetings with his probation officer, are similar to ones Steven Parziale, an electrician’s apprentice, also committed in 2002, just before a string of six suspicious fires in Danvers, including the one at the Butchery.
Probation officers, concerned about public safety, had asked a Salem Superior Court judge last week to send Parziale, 41, to jail for the violations, which also included a positive drug test for marijuana.
But yesterday Judge John Lu ruled that instead, he would keep Parziale on probation, with the added conditions of a GPS monitoring bracelet, as well as requirements that he submit proof that he is taking part in counseling at least every two weeks, meeting with a psychiatrist once a month, and taking his prescribed medications.
Parziale will also be subject to random drug tests.
Parziale is on probation until 2030 for four other fires back in 2002.
The August 2002 fire destroyed the Donegal Lane butcher shop, a local landmark. The owners eventually rebuilt their business on North Street.
The fire was one of a string of unsolved fires in Danvers that summer, according to news accounts at the time.
A week after the Butchery fire, there was another fire at the Cherry Hill Fish Market.
A probation officer who was supervising Parziale at the time for a pair of 1996 fires in Melrose read about the Danvers fires and became concerned, because he knew Parziale had recently stopped attending counseling and reporting to him. Parziale was living on Locust Street in Danvers at the time. The probation officer, Kevin Henneberry, contacted authorities, who eventually linked Parziale to six fires in Danvers that summer.
At the time of his guilty plea in 2003, Parziale blamed childhood sexual abuse for his crimes.
He served a total of eight years in prison, five for the Butchery fire and three more for violating his probation in the 1996 Melrose fires, which left a firefighter seriously injured and 40 people homeless.
Judge Peter Agnes at the time imposed an unusually lengthy 20-year probation term for four of the remaining fires, saying he wanted to ensure that Parziale received treatment for his psychological issues.
Parziale apparently began taking part in therapy soon after his release in 2010. But his current probation officer, Sonia Archer, reported to the court in August that Parziale had stopped receiving treatment and had failed to report to her, raising concerns.
When Parziale appeared last summer for a hearing on the matter, he tested positive for marijuana. He left the courthouse before his hearing could take place, and a warrant was issued.
When Parziale eventually returned to court on Nov. 7, Lu ordered him held without bail, according to court records. Parziale collapsed and was taken to Salem Hospital.
He admitted last week to the probation violations and was ordered held at Middleton Jail pending his sentencing yesterday.
He and his lawyer, Tom Pierce, had urged Lu to release Parziale so that he could resume counseling and a medication regimen.
Lu told Parziale that the GPS will allow probation officers and police to track his whereabouts at any time.
The judge also granted a request by Archer to require that before his release, Parziale have confirmed appointments with a psychiatrist and therapist.
Parziale, who had been living in Lynn, was released late yesterday afternoon, after being fitted with the monitoring bracelet and providing information about his appointments.
According to his Facebook page, Parziale works as an apprentice electrician for his family’s electrical contracting business in Malden.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.