DNA evidence halts St. Rose arson case

Authorities believed man set store on fire to collect insurance

September 23, 2011 at 9:45 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

The St. Charles Parish District Attorney’s Office has chosen not to prosecute a man authorities believed set his convenience store on fire twice in an attempt to collect a $1 million insurance policy.

The decision was made based upon DNA evidence in the case.
Nam Pham, 26, was arrested in January after two fires occurred at his Quick and Fast Convenience Store in St. Rose.

Pham was charged with one count of criminal conspiracy and two counts of arson with the intent to defraud.

The St. Rose Volunteer Fire Department responded to the first fire on Nov. 27, 2010. In that instance, a fire was set outside the building and damaged the exterior, according to state Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning.

The second fire occurred less than a month later on Dec. 5 and caused significant damage to the inside of the building, making it uninhabitable, Browning said.

Pham was accused of setting the fire in an attempt to defraud his insurers. The store held a $1 million policy issued by State Farm.

But according to the district attorney’s office, DNA evidence excluded Pham from the arson. Additionally, no accelerant was found on Pham’s clothing and the only witness against him was someone that was previously convicted of theft.

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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