Update: Sailor charged with starting fire that destroyed Navy ship found not guilty

  • Source: KEYT-TV ABC 3 Santa Barbara
  • Published: 10/01/2022 12:23 AM

A sailor charged in connection with starting a fire that destroyed a Navy warship while it was docked in San Diego has been found not guilty. Seaman Recruit Ryan Mays was acquitted on charges of willful hazarding of a vessel and aggravated arson, the Navy said in a statement, following a court martial in which a judge ruled there was not enough evidence that Mays set the fire that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard more than two years ago. After the judge issued the verdict, Mays collapsed on the table and sobbed, his defense attorney Gary Barthel said, feeling as if a thousand-pound weight had been lifted off his shoulders. Outside the courthouse, Mays said he was “grateful that this is finally over” and called it “the hardest two years of my entire life.”


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