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Faulty Reports May Lead to Overturned Arson Cases

Arson Reports Were Misleading

In 2009, a Phoenix woman was brought up on criminal charges after a fire took place in her home. The woman's house was on the market for a few years and a disconnected gas line was found in the laundry room. While the charges were eventually dismissed, two arson investigators that examined the house following the fire had discrepancies in their reports, leading prosecutors to question the truthfulness of their statements.

One of the investigators claimed that the front door to the home was barricaded when firefighters attempted to open it, and four firefighters used a hammer to open the door. It was revealed that the door was blocked by furniture, and was opened by two firefighters pushing against the door, without using tools.

The investigator in question further claimed that a gas line was open to spread gas throughout the house before the fire was started. While a gas line was open in the laundry room and gas was leaking from the laundry room, there was no evidence suggesting that this was done on purpose.

Prosecutors declined to press further charges against the investigators because:

  • The investigators may not have known information was false when they made the claims
  • There was evidence that hinted the gas line may have been opened purposefully
  • The prosecutor believed that his arson-trained dog was always accurate

Because there was no conclusive proof that false statements were made with the intent of prosecuting the woman for arson, criminal evidence was not established. However, the credibility of the investigators is called to question, and other fires investigated by both dating back to 2008 will be examined. Should evidence be found faulty, these cases may be dismissed or overturned.

Arson is a serious crime, and no one should be unfairly prosecuted based on misinformation of others. If you believe that your arson case should be reevaluated, contact the Law Offices of Joshua S. Davidson to determine what actions you may be able to take.