Crime

Man suspected of arson at murder site pleads not guilty

Man suspected of arson at murder site pleads not guilty

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- A 42-year-old Boise man charged with arson at a home that's the site of an unsolved murder has pleaded not guilty.

The Boise Police Department says Steven Eugene Roberts III was arrested after he started a fire Sept. 1 of last year at 5824 Randolph Drive in Boise. It's the same house where Phyllis Ward was murdered in her house July 23 some six weeks before.

At first it was thought, she perished in her bedroom when a fire started at her house. But an autopsy revealed she was killed by multiple blows to her head before the fire started.

Detectives, however, say there's no evidence to connect the September 2012 arson to the murder case and first fire.

Roberts pleaded not guilty to first degree arson and burglary Thursday morning. His jury trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 27.

 

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