Prosecutors dismissed charges Tuesday against a Hamilton Twp. man charged with endangering his children by setting their house on fire in April 2018.
Timothy Hartwig, now 47, was indicted last August in Warren County on one count of aggravated arson and two counts of endangering children.
Hartwig was accused of setting the fire on April 5 at his home on Honeysuckle Lane in Hamilton Twp., according to a press release issued by Hamilton Twp. Police Chief Scott Hughes.
No one was injured.
On Tuesday, Assistant County Prosecutor Carrie Heisele filed a motion dismissing the charges.
“There is insufficient evidence to proceed with prosecution given the testing results of the evidence in this matter,” Heisele said in the motion.
Judge Robert Peeler dismissed the case.
Hartwig allegedly cut the gas pipe, turned it on, and sparked the fire. Those results were based on testing by Hartwig’s insurance company, according to Aaron Aldridge, Hartwig’s lawyer.
“The gas line was never cut, had not been cut whatsoever,” Aldridge said.
Testing paid for by the court showed the enclosure of the fireplace failed, causing the fire, Aldrich said.
“The origin of the fire was completely different from what they were trying to say it was,” Aldridge said.
Hartwig maintained his innocence from the beginning.
“He’s been saying for over a year he didn’t do this. It took this long to prove him right,” Aldridge said.
On Wednesday, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said he decided to drop the case based on new information obtained in recent weeks.
“Within the past couple of weeks, we received additional information from a metallurgist regarding oxidation of the gas line,” Fornshell said in a text message.
Fornshell said there were still “inconsistencies” in Hartwig’s statements.
Fornshell added that Hartwig wasn’t cleared because new charges could be filed.
Hughes could not be reached for comment.
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