Heights arson fire suspect in court

November 17, 2009 1:26:42 PM PST
Police say the man suspected of starting one of the recent fires in the Heights has confessed to the arson, but questions still remain about who is responsible for 17 other suspicious fires. News of an arrest in any Heights fire is welcomed. The question now is can authorities link the suspect to more than one of the fires.

For the first time in court, prosecutors Monday laid out some of their case against arson suspect David Prince. They say the 30-year-old confessed both on video and in a written confession. He admitting to crawling through an open window of this vacant home on West 12th Street back on September 17, before allegedly setting it on fire.

"He took a piece of paper from his pocket, lit it with his lighter, dropped it, waited until the fire was three feet high spread throughout the room and he then exited that window," said prosecutor Angela Weltin.

Investigators won't say what led them to Prince. We know now that he too lived in the Heights area. Authorities say they talked to him several times before his arrest and that he allegedly admitted setting this fire during his last questioning.

"We're glad that someone was arrested, for sure," said resident Darby Suitor.

Prince's arrest is applauded by those living near the home he's accused of torching.

"We hope it's the same somebody that did all the other ones," said resident Michael Vaughn.

But investigators say prince is so far linked only to this fire on West 12th, not any of the other 17 fires they believe were intentionally set in the Heights since August. They are actively looking at evidence in those cases to see if Prince can be linked to any.

"Me myself, I hope he's the one that did all of 'em and that way it's over," said neighbor Drusella Chavis.

Not knowing if a serial arsonist is at large still is unsettling to say the least for those who try to sleep soundly at night in the Heights. Every sound they say is worrisome.

Prince remains in custody. He is charged with one count of arson, a second degree felony. A judge increased his bond from $20,000 to $50,000.


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