Sometimes, fires that you have determined to be incendiary in nature will also meet the requirements for the prosecutor to charge someone with arson. This type of case is the ultimate test for a fire investigator as all aspects of your investigation will be challenged by the defense, and you may go through the process of being qualified as an expert witness. The following assignment will help you to become familiar with that process. Follow the instructions below:
Locate an arson case that occurred within 60 miles of your home.
Provide basic information about what occurred.
Identify which of the six key elements from the lesson this case falls under.
Identify possible motives.
Determine what led to the suspect being charged.
Identify what the outcome of the criminal case was.
State whether you believe the outcome was appropriate.
Discuss what you believe could have been done differently to ensure a positive outcome in this case.
Your case study should be a minimum of two pages in length, not counting the title and reference pages. You must use a minimum of two sources, one of which may be your textbook. The other source should be found within the CSU Online Library. All sources used
|Subject||Law and governance||Pages||3||Style||APA|
Incendiary Fire Investigation
Twenty miles south of my hometown is a staff housing project under construction by an oiling company. On Saturday, October 31st, 2020, people were out celebrating Halloween by attending block parties. On the night, it was recorded in a local newspaper that a group of people walked into a gated housing project construction site and intentionally set ablaze one of the houses by throwing an incendiary device through a window. The fire’s flames intensified, burning down three other of the twenty-four housing projects. Surveillance cameras on the property caught sight of the perpetrator who threw the incendiary device and later identified as an activist against the oil company that advocated environmental safety. The suspects and other members of their activist group have been holding demonstrations at the oiling company offices in town. The suspect was charged with arson, vandalism of property, and larceny.
The incident falls under an arson case. This is because there was large damage to property, with an absence of valuable items in the houses burnt. As an arson case, there was intent from the suspect as an activist against environmental pollution with previous demonstrations held at the oil company’s offices. Also, the case qualifies as an arson case through the forceful entry into the property documented by the surveillance footage (Karr, 2019). Additionally, as an arson case, there were numerous burning points after the incendiary device was thrown through the house’s window exploded and fire spread into different parts of the house. These were reasons enough for the suspect to be charged.
I believe the suspect set the houses ablaze, motivated by attention-seeking and vandalism. As an activist against the oil company, the suspect sought attention for the demonstrations that were not regarded as important. Thus, the suspect used the Halloween block parties as a cover to walk into the neighbourhood and set the houses ablaze as a point of defiance against the oil company and its effects on environmental safety (PInow, 2021). I believe that the suspect saw that through vandalism, he would get his point across to the oil company to stop operations rather than build staff houses that would encourage environmental pollution.
For a suspect to be charged with arson, there has to be beyond reasonable doubt evidence that shows that the suspect has a willing intent to commit a malicious act. According to the Kann California Defense Group (2021), a suspect can be convicted of arson if there is substantial evidence that the person was willing to commit the crime. According to the crime report, the suspect with other members had trespassed on the oil company’s offices while conducting demonstrations. The surveillance cameras also catch the suspect breaking into the housing project and throwing the incendiary device into the house with the intent of causing damage (Kann California Defense Group, 2021). Therefore, the suspect was charged with arson for the malicious act of vandalism, larceny, and property damage.
I believe that the outcome of the case was appropriate. Although the suspect and his group of activists were right to hold demonstrations, there was no point in causing property damage. With the charges of larceny, vandalism and arson levied against the suspect; the property damage was unnecessary to evoke a reaction and response towards environmental safety. Instead, the suspect should have picked out court orders and signed petitions towards the closure of the oil company that he and his partners were advocating were causing environmental pollution instead of vandalizing and causing property damage through arson.
Regarding the investigation, I do not believe that anything could be done to help with the investigation of the crime. Surveillance footage of the suspect at the oil company’s offices and the scene of the crime throwing the incendiary proved beyond reasonable doubt that the suspect was guilty of the crime of property damage through larceny, vandalism, and arson with a clear motive against the oil company.
Kann California Defense Group. (2021). California Arson Attorneys | Kann California Defense Group. Www.kannlawoffice.com. https://www.kannlawoffice.com/arson.html
Karr, J. (2019, May 11). What are some obvious signs of arson? https://www.kentucky.com/news/local/crime/article230613679.html https://www.kentucky.com/news/local/crime/article230613679.html
PInow. (2021). Arson / Fire. PInow.com – Find Local Investigators. https://www.pinow.com/investigations/arson