Lawyer expects woman convicted of arson, murder to be released before new trial

Indianapolis

A Greensburg mother convicted of arson and the murder of her 3-year-old son is expected to be released on bond, Wednesday, as she awaits a new trial.

Kristine Bunch was sentenced to serve 60 years in prison following her conviction in 1996.

"It's just something that is, you know, overwhelming to her," said her attorney, Ronald Safer. "She is just excited over the prospect of being with her family."

During the original trial, experts testified that the fire pattern in her mobile home looked intentional and that there was either gasoline or lighter fluid in the floorboards.

Her attorney argued there was overwhelming evidence that proved Bunch could not have set the fire. This year, an appellate court granted Bunch a second trial and a vacated conviction, citing advances in the field of fire victim toxicology, which could prove her innocence.

"Kristine has been in jail for 16 years for a crime she did not commit. That she is in jail for one extra minute is a stain on our criminal justice system," said Safer.

Even though Wednesday’s hearing will not produce an exoneration, Safer said, it will afford Bunch an opportunity to taste freedom for the first time in nearly two decades.

"She sees the finish line and tomorrow she will... have a huge step towards the end of this nightmare."

Her hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Decatur County courthouse.

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