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Division of State Fire Marshal and Bristol Police Make Arrest Involving Felony Assault and Criminal Negligence

Lt. Colonel Kevin M. Barry, Acting Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of Public Safety, and State Fire Marshal John Chartier, announce the arrest of Sean Killeavy, of Bristol, on the charges of Felony Assault and Battery Criminal Negligence.

On August 17, 2016, Fire Investigators from the Division of State Fire Marshal were requested to assist the Bristol Police and Fire Department with a fire that occurred in a building at St. Mary's Cemetery. The fire resulted in one individual suffering first and second degree burn injuries. The initial investigation, based on the evidence available from the scene and witness statements taken at the time, suggested that the fire was accidental due to careless disposal of a match, in an area where gasoline had been spilled. At that time the case had been closed.

Subsequently, new information was presented to investigators that led to the case being reopened for investigation. New evidence indicated that the cause of the fire was not accidental but deliberate and caused by Mr. Killeavy. Thorough the introduction of new information, the classification of the fire was amended to incendiary and Mr. Killeavy was charged with one count of Felony Assault and one Count of Battery- Criminal Negligence, also a felony. Mr. Kelleavy was arraigned today in Sixth Division District Court on the aforementioned charges.

A person convicted of Felony Assault is subject to a maximum penalty of imprisonment for not more than twenty (20) years. A person convicted of Battery-Criminal Negligence is subject to a maximum penalty of imprisonment not more than ten (10) years and a ten thousand dollar ($10,000) fine.

This investigation was conducted by investigators of the Office of State Fire Marshal, Bristol Police Detective Bureau and the Office of Attorney General.

Media Contact: John Dean, Chief of Investigations
Division of State Fire Marshal

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  • Department or agency: Department of Public Safety
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  • Release date: 10-26-2016

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