Arson Charges Dismissed Against Grissom Airmen Benjiman Durr
Mark Fryman Jr. of the Logansport law firm of Starr, Austen & Miller, LLP, is pleased to announce today that the arson charges against his clients, Air Force Staff Sergeant Benjiman Durr and his wife, Wendy Durr have been dismissed by Cass County Prosecutor Kevin Enyeart in the State of Indiana v. Wendy Durr, Cause No. 09D02-1201-FC-000004 and State of Indiana v. Benjiman Durr, Cause No. 09D02-1201-FC-00003.
Air Force Staff Sergeant Benjiman Durr worked as a Security Officer at Grissom Air Force Base in Peru, Indiana and was a member of the Honor Guard. The mission of the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard is to represent Airmen to the American public and the world. USAF Honor Guard originated in 1948 when Headquarters Command, U.S. Air Force, directed the creation of an elite ceremonial unit. Sgt. Durr was selected as the Grissom Air Force Base Honor Guard Member of the Year each of the past five years. In 2011, he was nominated for Honor Guard Member of the Year for the entire Air Force. Sgt. Durr lived in Walton, Indiana with his wife, Wendy and their five children.
The charges stemmed from a fire that occurred at the Durr home on September 14, 2011. That afternoon fire crews from the Walton Fire Department and several other nearby towns worked to save the Durrs’ 130 year old historic home, but the structure and most of the Durrs’ furnishings were destroyed. At the scene, Sgt. Durr fell to his knees and helplessly watched as his six years of extensive renovations and much of his family’s memories went up in smoke. But, the worst was yet to come.
Upon request, Indiana State Fire Marshal Senior Investigator Frederick Sumpter investigated the fire for several months. He submitted his findings December 7, 2011 and supplemented that report with oral testimony on January 24, 2012 accusing Sgt. Durr of burning his own home. Investigator Sumpter was also convinced that Wendy Durr conspired with her husband despite being in Missouri visiting her parents at the time of the fire. Shortly thereafter, the Durrs were arrested for arson, a Class C felony, in the presence of Sgt. Durr’s fellow Airmen at Grissom Air Force Base.
However, after an extensive review of evidence provided by the Durrs’ defense team, Prosecutor Enyeart dismissed the charges against the Durrs just this week. The Durrs have relied on the kindness and unwavering support of their family, friends and church during this difficult time. They will now focus on rebuilding both their tarnished reputations and home.
Starr Austen & Miller LLP handles many types of litigation including stock broker fraud cases, truck accident cases, and multimillion dollar, nationwide class actions. Mr. Fryman specializes in fire loss, premises liability, construction site, truck and vehicle accidents, as well as, criminal defense.