Prosecutor sheds light on questions surrounding Vincennes arson case


VINCENNES, Ind. (WTHI) – The Vincennes man charged with five counts of arson appeared in court Friday for an initial hearing and the filing of formal charges. Arson investigators arrested James Beamon, 22, of Vincennes in June. Beamon is charged with four felony counts of arson, and one felony count of attempted arson. His charges, according to the Knox County Prosecutor’s office fall under Indiana’s old criminal code system because the alleged crime occurred prior the the system overhaul.

Much has been revealed in court documents detailing how Beamon explained to arson investigators he started the fires. Until the initial court hearings, some questions surrounding the case were left unanswered. Knox County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Hal Johnston explained new details in an interview with News 10 Friday.

One of the biggest questions pending in the case: Why Beamon started the fires.

“It seems from the investigation that we don’t have a motive of money here, there’s no evidence of motive of revenge, so it may simply be the that motive was one of setting the fire for the sake of setting the fire,” said Johnston. The Chief Deputy Prosecutor explained that through the course of court proceedings, defense attorneys representing Beamon could order evaluations; medical or psychological.

“I fully anticipate defense attorneys asking for some type of evaluation to try to find out a little more about the nature of this gentlemen and what’s driving him,” said Johnston.

Beamon was noted by the court as being indigent and requiring a public defender. He only listed his employment as ‘part-time.’ Prosecutor Johnston requested a bond increase, however it was declined by the court.

Another question in the pending case: Does Beamon’s admission to guilt, actually give him credit as the suspect who started the fire.

“The investigators asked detailed questions, opened ended questions, that only the person that did this would have known,” said Johnston.

Beamon is scheduled for a jury trial in October. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you confirm your email address and acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s