Special agents testify on day 2 of arson trial of Navy sailor

todaySeptember 21, 2022 2

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SAN DIEGO — Court docket on Naval Base San Diego recessed for the second day Tuesday after hours of testimony from two witnesses centered on the science-based testimonies and fireplace investigation.

Twenty-one-year-old Ryan Sawyer Mays is accused of setting fireplace to the USS Bonhomme Richard on July 12, 2020, which burned for 4 days and brought about greater than a billion {dollars} in damages. Mays has pleaded not responsible to all fees towards him: aggravated arson and the willful hazarding of a vessel. If convicted, Mays might face life in jail. He waived his proper to a jury and the end result rests in Navy Choose Captain Derek Butler’s arms.

Tuesday’s trial began with NCIS Particular Agent Garret Radke, who had taken 3D scans of the aftermath contained in the vessel. The 3D video performed throughout the testimony confirmed the “Decrease V,” which is the place automobiles and different gadgets had been saved. The contents of the Decrease V might hardly be recognized within the 3D photographs due to the damages, aside from two massive forklifts and a few barrels.

“It’s been a really hectic time for him however he’s coping, he’s doing the most effective that he can. I’ll say his command has been beneficiant in giving him time without work to work together with his protection counsel,” Barthel mentioned.

Particular Agent Matthew Beals with the ATF and an authorized fireplace investigator, who was additionally the lead within the investigation, was referred to as to the stand after Radke. Beals’ testimony and cross-examination took greater than 4 hours. He served as an knowledgeable and mentioned his findings within the investigation confirmed the hearth was incendiary, or arson, and there was an open flame out there to combustibles, which he recognized on this case had been tri-walls. Beals referred to as within the Nationwide Response Group to help within the investigation, which included digital forensics, licensed fireplace investigators, explosive specialists. Beals was the one who wrote the 250-page trigger and origin report, which he mentioned he has written tons of of, however the protection identified that this was the primary trigger and origin report Beals wrote throughout an investigation the place the NRT was activated.

Beals testified that no DNA got here again on this case, however DNA swabs and liquids had been despatched again for testing. Beals additionally testified he believed he discovered the origin space of the hearth, however didn’t discover the ignition supply of the hearth.

Beals testified that he and his workforce arrange sifting tables to sift by means of particles within the Decrease V of the vessel and all electrical gear was taken out of the vessel and examined within the daylight. Not the entire gear was taken to a lab for additional testing, although, and the protection has identified that Beals and different consultants relied on their on-scene data and visible inspection as an alternative of additional testing.

Throughout the Article 32 listening to in December, eight lithium-ion batteries had been some extent of concern for the protection, who believed they weren’t examined correctly to find out in the event that they had been the reason for the hearth. After the listening to in December, Beals mentioned he went to the vessel and took the eight batteries nonetheless on the scene of the hearth, 18 months later, into ATF custody, and carried them aboard a aircraft handy ship them to the lab for testing in Maryland. After additional scans and testing on the batteries since December, Beals didn’t change his findings and mentioned he nonetheless doesn’t consider the batteries had been the beginning of the hearth. The protection has continued to query that.

Beals testified that Mays had instructed him when the hearth began he yelled, “Oh, [expletive], right here we go,” after which broke a brush stick over his knee. Beals mentioned Mays’ timeline that he supplied to him throughout interviews was not in accordance with how lengthy it will take to get to and from sure factors on the Bonhomme Richard.

The court docket mentioned, however didn’t play, a video of Particular Agent Beals strolling across the fire-ridden vessel with Mays, the place the protection mentioned Mays mentioned 125 instances that he “didn’t do it.” The protection mentioned Beals was with Mays for 10 hours that day.

A brief clip was performed throughout testimony that confirmed Particular Agent Beals interviewing Mays, throughout which Mays says at one level that he simply needs to speak to his household.

It’s been identified that to this point there isn’t a bodily proof proving Mays set the vessel on fireplace. Particular Agent testified that DNA swabs didn’t come again to Mays.

The protection has reiterated that the prosecution has offered no bodily proof that Mays began the hearth.

“The federal government believes it’s arson and they’re making an attempt to determine that however I believe that there’s additionally proof out there to be proven that this might very effectively be an unintentional fireplace as effectively,” Lawyer Gary Barthel, who beforehand represented Mays mentioned Tuesday’s courtroom confirmed in additional favor in Mays’ case.

“I believe it helps Mays’ case as a result of it’s been in keeping with what he says it additionally goes to indicate that there have been gadgets that ATF didn’t initially take a look at.”

The federal government has claimed Mays was disgruntled after dropping out of the Navy SEALs program.

Barthel mentioned Mays’ household and spouse are additionally within the courtroom.

The court docket is ready to reconvene Wednesday at 9 a.m.

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Written by: soft fm radio staff

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