An innocent man who spent 14 months in jail on arson charges has filed suit against the city of Phoenix and the arson investigators who accused him of setting the fire.
Carl Vincent Ball Caples filed suit in Maricopia County Superior Court last week claiming the city failed to hire properly trained investigators, failed to provide the investigators with proper training, and permitted them to use outdated and discredited investigation techniques leading to his wrongful arrest and incarceration.
Named in the suit is former Phoenix Fire Chief Robert Khan, former Fire Marshal Jack Ballentine, and Captains Sam Richardson, Fred Andes and William Nelson.
Caples was arrested following a fire in his home on May 7, 2009. A subsequent investigation conducted by an expert hire by his defense attorney concluded the fire was electrical in nature and accidental, a finding that prosecutors found credible. Caples, a former law enforcement officer from Mississippi, could not afford bail and served 14 months in prison while the case wound itself through the system.
County Attorney Bill Montgomery considered prosecuting Richardson and Andes for false swearing in the Caples case and another one, but has since declined to do so. Montgomery has said publicly he will not prosecute any more of their cases and is reviewing roughly 30 past and present cases.
Here is a copy of the complaint: 2014-11-12-Complaint