Michigan Man Exonerated in Arson Case
A Michigan man, who spent more than four years behind bars for arson, was exonerated Wednesday when a Wexford County circuit court judge dismissed his case.
Victor Caminata was convicted of setting ablaze the house he shared with his former girlfriend in 2008 and sentenced to nine to 40 years in prison.
reported that after yesterday’s ruling, the case is closed and cannot be retried.
, “I’m just glad my name was cleared and this is over with. . . . This was a long road for everybody.”
In 2011, Caminata contacted the
Michigan Innocence Clinic
with the request to review his case. During its review, the Michigan Innocence Clinic discovered photographic evidence of what had previously been considered purposely inflicted torch marks to actually be a telltale sign of an accidental chimney fire. In July, that evidence and photos showing that evidence used against Caminata had been moved after the fire were presented at an evidentiary hearing.
At a hearing in July, attorney Lauryl Scott, with the Michigan Attorney General’s office, told the judge that Caminata had a “reasonable likelihood of acquittal,” and the court vacated Caminata’s sentence and released him on his own recognizance. Yesterday in court, Scott announced it was the attorney general’s position that the case should be dismissed with prejudice, meaning that Caminata could not be retried on the charges.
Since his release, Caminata found work doing construction in Traverse City, Michigan. Now living on his own, he said he is looking forward to spending as much time as he can with his family, friends and children. “Making the best of every day,” Caminata told
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