Saturday, November 5, 2016
Victor Rosario: Flawed arson 'science' case; Massachusetts; (The Lowell Sun): On Tuesday, (November 8, 2016) a prosecutor will ask state's highest court to reinstate his 1980 murder and arson convictions..."Two years ago, acting on an appeal by Rosario, Middlesex Superior Court Judge Kathe Tuttman reversed his convictions and ordered a new trial citing, in part, advances in fire science and new information in the area of false confessions."..."Defense attorney Lisa Kavanaugh argues that Rosario was in the throes of delirium due to alcohol withdrawal and could not have provided a voluntary confession to police. She also said Rosario's confessions were coerced by investigators."..."Rosario cut his hand on broken glass and was treated at the scene by the Red Cross, which is how he first appeared on the investigators' radar. Kavanaugh argues that Rosario was breaking windows to try to rescue people who were trapped inside. According to court documents, in their investigation of the fire, Waterhouse and Gilligan determined the fire was "incendiary" and not accidental. That opinion was based, in part, by examining areas of heavy burning inside the building and the location of the smoke that poured from the multi-family structure. The intensity of the fire and the burn pattern suggested a burning flammable liquid moving along the floor, the investigators said. Kavanaugh argues that fire science used three decades ago is now considered "scientifically invalid." She contends the allegations that Rosario and his two friends started the fire by throwing Molotov cocktails into the building "does not fit the fire scene evidence." There were no broken pieces of glass bottles and there was no proof that an accelerant was used, Kavanaugh said. No other cause has ever been determined for the fatal blaze."...Reporter Lisa Redmons; Lowell Aun.
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