Testimony is under way this morning in the preliminary hearing for the 20-year-old Lawrence man charged with setting a deadly fire at Boardwalk Apartments.
Lawrence Police officer David Ernst, the first officer on the scene of the fire, was the first witness this morning and testified for about an hour. He described initially thinking it was only a porch fire and then realizing it was much worse. He described helping an injured Kansas University student, Leigh McHatton, who had burns on her hands, feet and face.
McHatton took the stand after Ernst and described waking up in her apartment, opening the front door and seeing flames all around. She put on flip-flops and a hooded sweatshirt, put a blanket over her head, and ran out into the fire.
McHatton suffered third-degree burns on her hands and feet, second-degree burns on her face, and was in intensive care for a week at University of Kansas Hospital. She held up her scarred hands in court and showed them to District Court Judge Jack Murphy.
This is the first day of testimony in the preliminary hearing for Jason Rose, who's charged with three counts of murder, one count of aggravated arson and eight counts of aggravated battery. The hearing is expected to last three days.
Boardwalk Apartments Fire
More on the Boardwalk Apartments Fire
- 6News video: 'Boardwalk Fire Trial' set to begin (02-01-07)
- 6News video: Confession in Boardwalk fire case under question (09-19-06)
- 6News video: Fire victims struggling with medical bills (08-09-06)
- 6News video: Fire victim shares story of survival (11-27-05)
- Judge allows confession in murder, arson case (02-02-07)
- Arson suspect wants statement off record (09-20-06)
- Boardwalk fire victims see some money from state (08-10-06)
- Time barely starting to heal wounds (02-27-06)
- Agent: Design helped fire's spread (02-24-06)
- Deputies honored for bravery (01-25-06)
- Photo Gallery: Jason Allen Rose
- Photo Gallery: After the fire at Boardwalk Apartments
- Photo Gallery: Fire at Boardwalk Apartments
- More in 2005 Boardwalk Fire Â»