Anyone who is charged with a crime deserves fair treatment from the judicial system and is guaranteed the presumption of innocence unless and until proven guilty. Often, prosecutions for property crimes are built around eyewitness testimony, with people saying they saw the accused person committing the crime. However, eyewitness testimony can be unreliable for many different reasons. A recent arson case here in Maryland is based on eyewitness testimony, and police say they are still investigating exactly what happened.
According to authorities, the fire happened at a Lutheran church on a recent morning. Police allege that a man threw a Molotov cocktail into the church, causing it to catch fire. A neighbor nearby claimed to have seen the accused man start the fire and is the one who called first responders. Officials also say that the neighbor tried to extinguish the flames and keep the accused man on the scene.
No one was injured and authorities were able to respond quickly to put out the fire. The accused man has been charged with numerous offenses, including second-degree arson and defacing religious property. Police say they are still trying to determine a motive and have not concluded their investigation. The church reportedly sustained damage worth around $10,000.
It is imperative that accused people understand that they have the right to defend themselves against criminal charges. The punishment for conviction of property crimes can significantly impact a person’s life. Anyone here in Maryland in a similar situation may want to consult a criminal defense attorney who can give that person the best chance at fair treatment by the judicial system.