FOLLOWUP: Bail set at $25,000 for suspect in Saturday house fire

(Police and fire investigators at scene on Saturday)
An 18-year-old man is in jail, suspected of setting the fire that damaged a house in the 9200 block of 31st Place SW on Saturday afternoon. SFD confirmed on Monday that the fire had been ruled arson, but we weren’t able to confirm until this morning that a suspect is in custody. Court documents say he is the boyfriend of the 18-year-old woman who was found outside the house, “screaming and crying,” as it burned. She is reported to have told investigators the suspect lived inside the house, and that when they had argued earlier in the day, he had threatened to set it on fire. She also said the house, described by SFD and in an online complaint as “vacant,” had belonged to a relative of her boyfriend and that he had been staying there because he was otherwise homeless. A neighbor told police he had seen the man walking away from the house just before an “explosion” that preceded the fire. The suspect was found “on a pathway near the Roxhill Park entrance,” according to the probable-cause document, and recognized by officers “from prior contacts” (he does not, however, appear to have a criminal record, either felony or misdemeanor). He was booked into King County Jail on Saturday night; on Monday afternoon, a judge set his bail at $25,000. Prosecutors have until tomorrow to file charges.

3 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Bail set at $25,000 for suspect in Saturday house fire"

  • cj October 6, 2015 (10:29 am)

    Why would they not file charges?

    • WSB October 6, 2015 (10:52 am)

      We write that in every case, because you just can’t assume – police deliver the evidence they have to prosecutors, and the latter are the people who have to decide whether the evidence is likely to stand up in court, or likely enough for them to proceed. Sometimes they don’t have the evidence right away, so the 72-hour deadline arrives and the suspect is freed without charges BUT is charged later after, for example, DNA evidence comes in. I don’t know the entirety of evidence they have here – the probable-cause document does not detail, for example, what specifically was found in/at the burned house that led to the determination of arson, nor does it say whether the suspect confessed. Example of a case in which it sounded obvious but has not resulted in charges: I’ve been watching for six months now to see if the alleged drunk driver who hit and killed a pedestrian in White Center last April will be charged. Online records show nothing yet – she was arrested at the time, and when no charges were filed, she went free. – TR

  • faceless October 11, 2015 (1:48 pm)

    Bail set at only $25K really? He should be forced to rebuild it.

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