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Woman Gets New Trial In 1996 Murder, Arson Case

Last updated on Wednesday, March 21, 2012

(INDIANAPOLIS) - A southeastern Indiana woman who has spent 16 years in prison after she was convicted of setting the fire that killed her 3-year-old son has been granted a new trial.

The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled the case against Kristine Bunch should be heard again in light of new science.

Prosecutors said Bunch poured kerosene or some other fuel in the bedroom of her son, Anthony, and the living room of their mobile home and lit it on fire.

But lawyers working with Northwestern University School of Law's Center on Wrongful Convictions said science discovered since the 1990s shows that fuel couldn't have been used, and other possible causes were ignored.

A Decatur County jury convicted Bunch of murder and arson in 1996, and she was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

"We couldn't be more pleased with the Indiana Court of Appeals ruling, and we will continue to vigorously defend Kristine to ensure that we right this terrible injustice," said attorney Ronald S. Safer, who is handling the case pro bono. "We will not rest until Kristine is back home where she belongs."

The case was profiled in 2010 on ABC's "20/20".

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