The conviction of a landlord who was charged with arson after a fatal fire at his rental property has been thrown out.
The 72-year-old man has served sixteen years in prison for the crime, according to a news report.
He was charged after three of his tenants — a mother and two children — perished in an early morning fire. Investigators determined that the blaze was intentionally set using a chemical accelerant. They alleged the same accelerant was found on the landlord’s shoes. An eviction case was pending at the time of the fire, according to the report.
However, the investigators’ findings came under criticism when it was discovered that the chemical they had identified was common in many household products.
After reversing the conviction, the appeals judge ordered that the case be retried in light of the new evidence, or that the landlord be released from prison.
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