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Fingerprint Evidence in Arson Case Questioned

January 22, 1992

The attorney for Glendale Fire Capt. John L. Orr, a suspected serial arsonist, Tuesday questioned the validity of a key fingerprint used to tie Orr to store fires in the Los Angeles area and Central California.

Douglas McCann said a fingerprint lifted from an incendiary device found in Bakersfield in 1987 did not match Orr's print during a federal check in 1989. But he said authorities did match it to the veteran arson investigator in a second review last year.

Because of the discrepancy, McCann said he will argue against the use of the print as evidence during a pre-trial hearing in February. Orr, 42, who is confined to his Eagle Rock home, was indicted Dec. 17 in Los Angeles on eight counts of arson and attempted arson in the Los Angeles area and in Atascadero. On Jan. 9 a federal indictment in Fresno charged him in five more store fires.

But McCann insisted Tuesday "There's no evidence he started any of these fires."

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