Criminal Law's Blog
A shipyard worker at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has been charged with arson, for his role in starting a fire that raged through a submarine causing more than $500 million in losses.
24-year-old Casey James Fury was charged with 2 counts of arson for allegedly starting two fires. The first fire occurred on May 23 on the USS Miami. The 2nd fire was set on June 16 under the sub at the main shipyard where it had been docked for maintenance.
Fury was arrested last week, and initially denied that he had been involved in the arson cases. He later admitted to starting the fires. After the confession, he admitted that he had suffered an anxiety attack after he received a text message from his ex-girlfriend. If convicted, he is looking at a possible sentence of life in prison.
The criminal complaint against him alleged that he had been working in the torpedo room on the submarine on May 23, but after about an hour of working, he suddenly developed anxiety attacks. He left the torpedo room, and went up to a stateroom. There, he found a vacuum cleaner and some rags. He set fire to the rags using a Bic lighter, and when he was satisfied with his work, he went back to the torpedo room, and resumed his work.
The fire that raged damaged the torpedo room, and command area. It was more than 12 hours before officials managed to extinguish the flames. The damage to the submarine was extensive, and the Navy has not yet made a decision on whether to repair the submarine, or scrap it. In June, an investigation found that the fire had begun in a vacuum cleaner. At the time, there was no explanation about how the vacuum cleaner had caught fire.