Barbara Sloan’s home in Phoenix, Arizona, burned down May 13, 2009. Added to the anguish of losing her home, Sloan found herself arrested and facing charges of arson by the Phoenix Fire Department after two fire captains, Sam Richardson and Fred Andes, concluded she committed arson after she couldn’t sell her home.
Carl Caples spent sixteen months in jail after he was accused of setting fire to a home he was renting in Phoenix on May 7, 2009. The investigator in his case was Capt. Sam Richardson, who concluded the accused poured gasoline on three different areas of the home before setting it on fire.
The FBI is now investigating both Richardson and Andes for violating the civil rights of Sloan and Caples by arresting and charging them for arson despite no evidence tying them to the burnings of their homes.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office dropped the charges against Barbara Sloan on October 15, 2010, after two Phoenix Firefighters and two independent arson experts investigated the fire that destroyed Sloan’s home and determined it had started in Sloan’s car that was parked in the garage and was not intentionally set. After this investigation, Capt. Richardson admitted he had no evidence connecting Sloan to the fire and had her arrested because she was the owner of the home.
Caples’ arson charge was dropped by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office on September 27, 2010, the day his trial was to begin after an investigation by his defense expert determined the fire was not started by gasoline, but by a short in the electrical system of his home and began in the attic.
The FBI became involved when Sloan and Caples filed complaints against the Phoenix Fire Department with the U.S. Attorney’s Office last month.