Thursday, February 1, 2018

William Amor: Illinois; (Arson 'science - false confession) "Defense rests in 1995 Naperville murder arson trial," The Daily Herald reports..."The defense of William Amor rested Thursday following testimony from another fire science expert who tried to debunk the theory that Amor intentionally set a fatal 1995 fire by dropping a cigarette on vodka-soaked newspapers. Amor, 63, was convicted in 1997 of aggravated arson and the first-degree murder of his mother-in-law, Marianne Miceli, in a Naperville apartment fire."..."Prosecutors are expected to call Senior Special Agent John Golder, who manages the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Certified Fire Investigator program, on Friday morning to rebut testimony presented by defense witnesses. Golder first testified in a December 2016 hearing, which led to Amor's conviction being overturned, that he determined the fire to be incendiary and not accidental or undetermined. He also agreed with most of the original investigation's findings. "The scientific method and other elements of the investigation were exactly what we do today," Golder testified in 2016. The main difference, he said, was that the original investigators did not account for some of the burn patterns. Defense attorney Lauren Kaeseberg said she expects to again seek a directed finding of not guilty at the conclusion of Golder's testimony and prior to closing arguments, which are expected to begin shortly after 1:30 p.m. Friday."

PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "David Smith, a fire and explosion expert who also serves as mayor of Bisbee, Arizona, testified Thursday that he agrees with previous experts who believe the cause of the fatal fire should be considered "undetermined." After reviewing hundreds of pieces of data, Smith said he was able to determine the fire started in a corner of the living room that contained a swivel chair, a recliner, a couch and a wood coffee table. He could not, however, identify the exact point of ignition. Smith said using a cigarette to ignite paper soaked in vodka, which is 60 percent water, is a "scientific impossibility and a physical impossibility." Smith said he found "zero evidence" any accelerant was used to start the fire. "The absence of any evidence leaves us with nothing to rely on," he said. When pressed by prosecutors if it was possible for an accelerant to be used and the evidence destroyed in the fire, Smith snapped back. "It's possible a meteorite came down and struck, but there's no evidence of that either," he said."

STORY: "Defense rests in 1995 Naperville murder arson trial," by reporter Justin Kmitch, published by The Daily Herald on February 1, 2018.

The entire story can be read at the link below:

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog."