The hearing into the Hina Murders today brought forward some more details about the fire. Key is of course whether the fire was accidental or arson. Also, exactly where was the point of origin and what was the material that ignited first.
From the New Hampshire Sentinel Source Online: “On Wednesday, a federal fire investigator supported Norton’s belief that a cigarette didn’t cause the fire.
State prosecutors showed footage of an interview with Walker during Wednesday’s evidentiary proceedings. In it, she says she assumed she had lit a cigarette after returning home from a friend’s house following a night of drinking. Walker said she awoke about 2:15 a.m. with flames on her bed and on the couch at the foot of the bed.
But Norton said he determined a lit cigarette did not cause the fire. He said that type of smoldering typically takes longer to develop into flames and produces thick, toxic smoke, something Walker did not report experiencing.
On Wednesday, Andrew Cox, a fire investigator for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, testified that he worked on the case for the better part of 2010. “In my opinion, if a smoldering event had taken place, (Walker) would be reporting fundamentally different circumstances,” Cox said. “In general, I don’t find this incident to be consistent with smoldering fire circumstances.”
The evidentiary hearing was set to continue today, and possibly into Friday in Sullivan County Superior Court. The case is being heard in Sullivan County by Judge Marguerite L. Wageling because Cheshire County Superior Court Judge John P. Arnold recused himself. Arnold served as N.H. attorney general during portions of the investigation several years ago.
A trial date has been set for Aug 1, 2011.
To be continued.