Oklahoma Grand Jury Will Not Hand Down Indictment In Luther Wildfire Arson

Tuesday, August 26th 2014, 6:04 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

It was one of the most destructive wildfires in Oklahoma history, but a grand jury investigation into who started the fire in Luther comes up empty handed. Jurors say no one will be indicted in the case.

During the brutally hot August of 2012, the Luther Wildfire destroyed 2,700 acres, 56 homes and dozens of lives. An eye witness said he saw someone start the fire and called 911. That 911 call sparked an arson investigation.

“I thought ‘I hope they catch them,'” said Bruce Hall, who lost three homes in the fire. His daughter and grandson were living in two of them. “They lost everything, totally.”

8/9/2012 Related Story: Reward Fund Grows For Information In Luther Arson Fire

The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department spent two months investigating and announced they had suspects in the case. Then they turned it over to the Oklahoma Grand Jury.

“One of the things that has frustrated us has been the inability to have people talk to us truthfully. So that is why we have opted to go to the grand jury,” Sheriff John Whetsel told reporters in October 2012.

But after investigating for another year, the grand jury seemed to have the same problem and in their final report commended the Sherriff's office on a thorough investigation but said "ultimately, their efforts could not overcome the inconsistent lay testimony from the scene of the crime."

It essentially ended the investigation and any hope of catching the arsonist.

“Yes, it makes me mad,” said Hall. “Because a lot of people lost homes and everything,”