Prosecutor drops arson charges in Cosmopolitan fire

May 14, 2010

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.



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