BEND, Ore. - Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel announced Monday that he won't charge a 73-year-old man who was arrested after a suspicious fire on the exterior of an assisted living facility, citing insufficient evidence to do so.
The fire late on the night of June 23 prompted evacuation of the Regency Village at Bend on Southwest Wilson Avenue. The man was arrested on dozens of arson and other charges, but was released pending the results of Hummel's investigation into whether it was an accidental or intentionally set blaze.
Hummel said Monday he'd completed his investigation of the fire and that there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed.
“Police arrest suspects based on a probable cause standard, but prosecutors file, and have to prove, criminal charges based on the higher standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” Hummel said.
“In this case, at this time, there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime occurred," he said. "Therefore, I won’t file criminal charges.”
If additional evidence is obtained in the future, Hummel said he will review it and reassess his decision.