Prosecutor drops arson charges in Cosmopolitan fire

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Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi announced late Friday afternoon that his office has dropped arson charges against Brandon Burns, a homeless man who had been accused of setting the March 2009 fire that destroyed the Cosmopolitan on the Canal Apartments.

Brizzi provided no details on the reasons for dropping the charges.

 “We are confident that this dismissal is absolutely the right thing to do,” he said.  “The prosecutors involved in this lengthy investigation recommended this course of action.”

As a result of the dismissal, grand jury proceedings have been initiated. According to the prosecutor’s office, no further information can be released regarding the details of the case.

The $27 million apartment project was under construction at the time of the fire. The developer, Flaherty & Collins Properties, has since rebuilt it.

Burns’ trial had been scheduled to begin May 17.



  • How is this man to be repaid---
    for time served, the name inflamation, and his hardship thru all of this?
  • A Confession is Not Sufficient Evidence To Convict
    Yes, you are correct. Yes, he did confess to being involved both to the police and to various witnesses. However, under our legal system, a defendant may not be convicted of a crime solely upon the basis of his confession. There must be corroborating evidence.
  • Frat Boy Party at Valporaiso
    Yeah I think Fox or someone has been following the infamous Brizz around as he parties it up around town and has a paid driver (IMPD) on overtime take him around.... Sure would be nice if John Q Public had an IMPD officer Chaffeur them around and I do not mean to the Marion County Lock up.

    Brizzi sets such a piss poor example for a Prosecutor... He should spend his time with a overtime paid Chaffeur going around to the schools, throwing dance night etc... instead of being Otis Campbell..... PR Move....Go to Rehab dude...
  • not everything is crooked
    The problem with the office is that now everyone assumes everything is corrupt. The defendant's attorneys were full time public defenders. Chances are the previous statements to investigators got checked out just prior to trial, and they witnesses recanted or were no longer available. In addition, a fairly recent report from the FBI undermines the science of arson investigations.

    They can always recharge someone if they dismiss, but if there is an acquittal, that's the end.
    The trial deputies would have recommended the case be dismissed, and carl has to sign off on all of them now since he has no supervisors and David Wyser is off in california licking his wounds.
  • Fast Times & Good Times @ MCPO
    The "Brizz" waits 3 days before the Trial and drops this crap ? I guess Brizz is so busy being overwhelmed by the FBI and the FOIA - Freedom of Information Act requests from the media who are trying to unearth all of his corruption, trying to figure out who in his office is being disloyal (from his viewpoint from the rest of the citzenry we view it as being honest) he is unable to carry out the official duties of the Marion County Prosecutors Office.

    Then you have Wyser buzy running for election on Marion County Taxpayers time (ghost employment); Mario M boozing it up...

    The MCPO is like a 767 in the sky running out of fuel at 35,000 feet and the pilots (Brizzi and Co.) are back in 1st Class partying it up like a bunch of "Frat Boys". It is no wonder Helen M and Jennifer H realized they needed to parachute out.

    But wait it gets better.... City legal says there is a conflict and they will no longer handle FOIA requests for him... The Mayor and City Legal distancing now.

    Can someone tell Carl the party is over and he needs to leave and go home... its like the 3rd morning after the party...
  • Wait!
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't newspaper reports at the time contain his girlfriend's mention that he had indicated his involvement in the fire?

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