Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Jurors view Rose interrogation video as arson trial continues

Rose then asks what would happen if investigators found out “it was not me.”

May 3, 2007, 10:49 a.m. Updated May 3, 2007, 4:53 p.m.


They ask questions. He makes denials. They ask more questions. Occasionally, he changes his story slightly.

That's the basic dynamic jurors are watching unfold by video this morning on the third day of trial for a man charged with setting the deadly 2005 fire at Lawrence's Boardwalk Apartments. The video shows defendant Jason Rose being interviewed by Lawrence Police Det. Troy Squire and agent Christy Weidner of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The two detectives do most of the talking in the tape. They repeatedly press Rose to be honest with them and explain why he claims not to remember exactly what he did and where he went after he walked outside his apartment at the Boardwalk complex to smoke a cigarette the night of the fire.

"Something bad happened, and you choose not to bring it up and not talk about it because you know it's bad," Squire says at one point in the video.

Rose then asks what would happened if investigators found out "it was not me."

"I'm telling the truth... why would I set fire to an apartment building where I live? I wouldn't," Rose says in the video.

In a typical exchange, Squire tells Rose that scientists are examining the fire and will be able to say exactly what happened.

"Tell me what happened Thursday night before they tell me," Squire said. "Do you think you can do that?"

"I did not start that fire," Rose answers.

Jurors broke for a morning recess about 10:30 a.m., shortly after watching Rose tell the detectives he lit a piece of paper on fire that night, but that he thought it was out.

"What was on the piece of paper?" Weidner asks.

"You've got to give us more than just a piece of paper," Squire says.

As of 4:45 p.m., jurors are still watching videotaped footage of the interview with Jason Rose.

The video shows Rose changing his story on Oct. 11, his second day of talking with detectives. After telling them the previous night that he had set a piece of paper on fire on the second floor of the building and that the fire had spread, he backs away from that story to say that he had nothing to do with setting the fire.

"I did not start it," Rose says.

"You told us you did," Lawrence Police Detective Troy Squire says.

Federal agent Christy Weidner asks him, "Why did you say one thing yesterday and something different today?"

"I didn't know what to say," Rose answers. "I didn't know if it was going to be the truth or going to be a lie."


Katie Van Blaricum 11 years, 1 month ago

this is the most boring videotape EVER!!!! Those detectives were obviously not going to stop asking the same question over and over and over and over and over, until the got the answer they were prodding for. I wouldn't trust anything ANYbody said on this tape.

Katie Van Blaricum 11 years, 1 month ago

no, they weren't called when he was yelling. That was an hour or so before the fire started. Apparently, Jason was yelling at someone (or no one) in the parking lot when Maritza arrived home around midnight. The fire started at 1:15. I dont believe the location was near any of the people's apartments who died. (I only know this stuff because I was a juror on the original trial)

dthroat 11 years, 1 month ago

aquakej - I totally support your right to post and say what you want as a former jurist. Please, please just be careful what you post. Please do not be the reason for any excuse for another mistrial. I understand that you have more information on this topic because of your position - just let that come out AFTER the trial is over. I have my own opinions on this guy, but please don't influence anyone or anything before the trial is over. Then tell us what you REALLY think. I would love to hear it since you were there for the first one. But not until after the verdict. Thank you for being circumspect so far in your postings. Keep it up.

And somehow it does not surprize me in the least that the yellow house topic and I am sure Smitty is refering to the Sevier case has come up. Is there any story about an LPD investigation that cannont be tied to these two cases????? (But now Smitty will just label me as a coproach.......again)

nekansan 11 years, 1 month ago

Is this the same "innocent" Yellow House bunch that were indicted in a federal case? Does anyone still really believe they are innocent? Secondly, if there was any reasonable basis to object to the video the defense would have raised it during the trial and the jury would not be shown the video. If it were altered in some way there is no defense attorney that would not raise an objection and no judge that would not uphold the defense objection. Since that has not happened they video must be an accurate portrayal of the LPD's questioning. Previous jurors have already indicated that they believed the video shows a very fair and through interrogation by the LPD.

yellowhouse 11 years, 1 month ago

You give undue credence to what you do know, and you figure that what you don't know isn't that important anyway. Much of what you "KNOW" to be true is questionable, incomplete, or downright false. Yet the reality in your head is as important and as "REAL" to you--as the true facts.

Do you really know what you know to be true?

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