State Fire Marshal investigates to possibly reopen 5 arson cases - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

State Fire Marshal investigates to possibly reopen 5 arson cases


The State Fire Marshal Office, along with the Innocence Project is looking at five arson cases throughout the state, and possibly reopening them.

These arson cases took place in the 80's to early 90's. 

"Good science wasn't utilized, that's what they were trained in years ago," said Chris Connealy, Texas State Fire Marshal. "Five cases that we are working on and we sent letters to the various district attorney's."

The Innocence Project of Texas is a state wide organization that evaluates and works on cases involving prisoners in jail.

Right now, the fire marshal office is in the process of gathering information and utilizing fire investigators to go around to the five jurisdictions. Once completed, data will be compiled with the Innocence Project for review. 

One case was recently granted a retrial in McLennan County; the Ed Graf case. Arson investigators testified before the judge on new findings that led to a decision for a retrial, pending through the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Walter Reaves, Jr., Vice President of the Innocence of Texas and representing Ed Graf, believes old arson investigative techniques are outdated.

"It's mostly a concoction of old wives' tale from assumptions that have been passed on from investigator to investigator throughout the years," said Reaves.

Once these five arson cases are done being reviewed and investigated, the data will be compiled to one document for a group of panel members to be discussed further come April.



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