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Arson suspect's move to suppress statements denied | Crime

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Arson suspect's move to suppress statements denied
Crime, News
Arson suspect's move to suppress statements denied

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- A judge will let an accused arsonist's in-court apology -- and other statements made to detectives -- be submitted as evidence in his trial.

On Thursday, Circuit Court Judge Donald Johnston ruled against a suppression motion made by the lawyer for Joseph McIntyre, the 24-year-old man charged with setting fires in homes mainly in southeast Grand Rapids and Kentwood from July to October of last year.

McIntyre's attorney was seeking to have any incriminating statements his client made to police excluded from the arson trial, which is scheduled to begin on June 27.

One statement McIntyre made was during his initial court appearance after his arrest on October 17.  During the October 18 arraignment, McIntyre said, "I apologize and I'm sorry."

Prosecutors believe McIntyre set at least nine house fires in the area around Woodland Mall.  He was the subject of an investigation that involved Grand Rapids and Kentwood police, state arson officials, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Detectives say they arrested McIntyre as he was setting a garage on fire at a Kentwood home.

McIntyre has already rejected a plea offer made by prosecutors.

McIntyre's attorney has filed notice that he will seek an insanity defense.  A previous exam determined McIntyre is mentally competent to stand trial and assist in his own defense.

Crime, News