Immunity for state police investigator in lawsuit over fire

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CADILLAC, Mich. (AP) — A man who served about five years in prison before his arson conviction was overturned can’t sue a key investigator in the case.

A federal appeals court says Michael Jenkinson, who was a state police fire expert, has immunity in a civil lawsuit. The court says his investigation may have been flawed, but there’s no evidence that Jenkinson’s report contained “deliberate omissions or reckless falsehoods.”

In 2008, Victor Caminata was convicted of intentionally setting a fire at his Boon Township home, near Cadillac, where he lived with his girlfriend and children.

But the Innocence Clinic at University of Michigan law school discovered holes in the case and said signs of arson were false. The conviction was thrown out.

Caminata sued Wexford County and others involved in the case and reached a settlement.

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