N.Y. Court Upholds Reversal of Murder Conviction in Fire

Associated Press

The state’s top court Tuesday upheld a decision throwing out murder and arson convictions against a former waiter in a 1980 Stouffer’s Inn fire that killed 26 persons in Westchester County.

The New York Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that prosecutors failed to prove Luis Marin set the fire. A jury had convicted him, but the trial judge overturned the verdict.

The court said in a 6-0 opinion that circumstantial evidence used to show Marin was at the scene of the start of the blaze “was not sufficient.” The court also said the prosecution claim that Marin was motivated to start the fire because he was upset that he was about to be fired for being an illegal alien “does not establish any element of the crime.”