- Rose denies confession (05-08-07)
- Jury sees suspect confess, deny fire (05-05-07)
- Rosechanges stories in video (05-04-07)
- Detective describes interview as 'calm' (05-03-07)
- Witness describes 'angriest' fire (05-02-07)
- Jury seated in Boardwalk fire retrial (05-01-07)
- New arson trial for Rose begins today (04-30-07)
- Mistrial (02-12-07)
- Subpoenas to the World Company (.pdf)
- Commentto story "Jurors watch taped police interrogation of Rose" (02-09-07)
The man charged with setting a deadly Lawrence apartment fire didn't have a reputation in foster care as a firestarter, the man's former foster parent testified this morning.
"There was nothing indicating Jason was a firestarter," said Robert Kidder, who was a father figure to defendant Jason Rose during Rose's years living in state custody at The Villages group home.
Kidder told jurors that Rose seemed to have a low IQ and threw temper tantrums similar to a 3-year-old's but that he wouldn't have accepted Rose for a placement at the group home if he had a history of setting fires.
Kidder's testimony came during the second day that Rose's defense team has been presenting its case at trial in Douglas County District Court. Rose is charged with murder, arson and aggravated battery for the Oct. 7, 2005 fire that killed three residents of the Boardwalk Apartments in the 500 block of Fireside Drive.
Kimberley S. Smith, an employee of the state's department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, was called as a defense witness to testify about the contents of the 7,500-page file that documents Rose's time growing up in state custody. She noted an incident in which Rose was implicated for a smoldering glove found in a trash can, six incidents of playing with matches or lighters when he was 7 or 8, and a time he made a threat to blow up a house.
But in response to defense attorney Ron Evans' questions, Smith did not cite any clear-cut instances of fire-setting reflected in the file while he was in state custody.
On cross-examination by assistant district attorney Amy McGowan, Smith acknowledged that Rose did receive counseling for fire-setting behaviors, according to the documents.
"There must have been some incidents of fire-setting behavior" in the file, McGowan said.
"Yes," Smith answered.