Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

October 21, 2009

The History Behind The Case

On June 30, 1995, a quick-burning fire erupted in the trailer at 999 S. Lake McCoy Drive, lot 60 of the Creswood Resort. The home had two occupants.

Kristine M. Bunch, then 21, survived the fire but her 3-year-old son Anthony Maxwell Bunch perished.

The next day, fire investigators from the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Greensburg Fire Department and the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department begin an investigation into the fire that killed Anthony Bunch. Suspicions begin to grow when an accelerant is found.

On July 6, 1995, a probable cause affidavit is issued that explains that an accelerant was used in the blaze and that a gas can was found about three feet from the front door of the mobile home. Investigators determined that the accelerant covered a large area of the living room and proceeded directly into Anthony Bunch’s bedroom where he was sleeping. Kristine M. Bunch was given a polygraph test and failed. When asked why she started the fire by the polygraph operator, Bunch allegedly responded “I don’t know.”

On July 7, 1995, the case moved forward. A Nov. 28, 1995 trial date is set for Kristine M. Bunch following charges of felony murder and arson. On Oct. 12, 1995, Kristine M. Bunch is released from jail on a $50,000 bond. Her bond had previously been denied by the Decatur County Circuit Court Judge John Westhafer. She was deemed not to be a flight risk and released

On Feb. 26, 1996, the jury selection process began for the murder and arson trial of Kristine M. Bunch and opening arguments took place. The defense claimed then that the investigation was done “in haste,” that potential accidental causes were not considered and that the prosecution could not prove a motive. Prosecuting attorney William O. Smith contended that a motive was not required and that Bunch attempted to mislead investigators several times.

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