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Mom Convicted In Son's Death Free After 16 Years

Last updated on Thursday, August 23, 2012

(INDIANAPOLIS) - After spending 16 years in prison, a Greensburg mother previously convicted of setting a fire that killed her 3-year-old son is free on bond.

The Indiana Court of Appeals overturned Kristine Bunch's 1996 conviction in March after her attorneys argued new science shows there was no evidence of arson in the 1995 mobile home fire.

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 that other possible causes were ignored.

Bunch cried as she walked out of court Wednesday and was greeted by her son and mother.

"Why did I have hope? Because I knew that it was going to work out in the end and I had a lot of support," she told RTV6's Derrik Thomas.

"It's been horrible," said Bunch's mother, Susan Carol Hubbard. "It's hard to keep your spirits up, but I think faith has seen us through a lot of things."

Bunch was pregnant with her now-16-year-old son when she first went to prison on the arson and murder charges.

"It's kind of hard growing up without a mother," Trenton Bunch said. "I'm just really excited."

Bunch is now awaiting a new trial on charges of murder and arson. Her attorney is upset the charges have not been dropped altogether.

"The court of appeals made it very clear in its ruling that they believe that on the evidence that was presented in this courtroom a couple of years ago, that it was likely that a jury would acquit," said attorney Ron Safer. "I would hope the prosecutor's office would have accepted the appeals court's ruling."

Bunch is set to appear in court Aug. 30.

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