Landlord Faces New Trial for Arson

A Modesto-area landlord whose arson conviction was overturned will not be released, but will instead face a new trial.

According to a news report, the prosecutor in the case says she still has enough evidence to convict the man, despite a federal judge’s ruling that the conclusions of fire investigators may have been in misleading.

The landlord was accused of arson in the deaths of three tenants after a fire broke out in the rental property. He was in process of evicting the tenants, according to a previous report, which evidently cast suspicion as to his motive.

Investigators concluded that arson had occurred because they found a chemical at the scene that appeared to be used as an accelerant. The same chemical was found on the landlord’s shoes.

But recently, a judge found fault with the evidence because the same chemical can be found in household products like cleaning fluids.

A previous court ruling found it unlikely that a jury would convict the man on the current evidence, according to the report. The appellate court which overturned the eviction ruled that the new trial must commence by July.

The man already has served 16 years in prison.

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