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State v. Mr. T (DMC No. 12498)

Mr. T had lived in a neighborhood in which there had been numerous arson fires regarding cars and dumpsters over the previous 3 years. There was a report of a car on fire by a neighbor who stated that they had seen Mr. T run from the area of the car into his apartment. When police arrived, they attempted to have Mr. T leave his house to talk to them, but he refused. They eventually broke down the door and took him into custody. He was charged with arson and resisting arrest.

We were able to show that Mr. T had merely been in the area looking at the car because it had been on fire, and that he had not actually set the fire. In addition, Mr. T had been drinking and was scared when the police came to his door. Lastly, Mr. T and his life partner were both concerned that the police would rough him up due to his sexual orientation. And, in fact, the police had roughed Mr. T up when they took him into custody. We ultimately had the arson charge dismissed, and the case was plead to the resisting arrest with probation and zero days in jail. Originally Mr. T was facing a minimum of 4 years and a maximum of 8 years in prison on the arson charge alone.

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