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Firefighter convicted in murder of pregnant EMT girlfriend

The jury found that Matthew Plote, a former Illinois volunteer firefighter, killed Melissa Lamesch before setting her house on fire

Judge gavel on the table with blurry books in the background

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By Rachel Engel
FireRescue1/EMS1 Staff

OGLE COUNTY, Ill. — Matthew Plote, 36, was convicted last week in the murder of Melissa Lamesch, an EMT who was carrying his unborn child, 23 WIFR reported.

Lamesch was found unconscious on the floor of her kitchen after crews responded to a house fire at her residence. Prosecutors argued that Plote strangled Lamesch before setting the blaze.

While initial reports were that Lamesch had died as a result of the house fire, the investigation revealed she had no soot in her airways or lungs.

Plote, a former Malta Fire Department volunteer firefighter-EMT, faced 10 charges, including first-degree murder and concealing a homicidal death.

The jury deliberated for two hours before rendering a guilty verdict.