Prosecutors want 1990 arson-murder conviction reinstated

AP News
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Posted: Jun 18, 2015 12:51 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Prosecutors in Pennsylvania have asked a federal appeals court to reinstate the murder conviction of a man who spent 24 years in prison for his daughter's death in a fire.

Eighty-year-old Han Tak Lee was freed last year after a judge ruled the arson science used to convict him had been debunked. Prosecutors say other evidence points to Lee's guilt.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia heard arguments in the case Thursday.

The New York City shop owner had taken his 20-year-old, mentally ill daughter to a religious retreat in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains where, prosecutors say, he set fire to their cabin. Lee has long contended the 1989 fire was accidental.

Lee is a native of South Korea. He became a U.S. citizen about 30 years ago.