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Release for man convicted in '70 deadly Arizona Fire

PHOENIX (AP) - A man who has spent more than four decades in prison for starting a Tucson hotel fire that killed 29 people is expected to be released as part of a deal with prosecutors.

Louis Cuen Taylor was convicted at 16 and sentenced to 28 consecutive life sentences in the December 1970 fire at the Pioneer Hotel.

Taylor, who is black, has maintained his innocence and contends he was wrongly convicted by an all-white jury. The U.S. Supreme Court denied him a new trial in 1983.

The Arizona Justice Project sought dismissal of the case or an evidentiary hearing last year, noting several experts could testify it was indeterminable whether the fire was arson. The lead fire investigator on the case stands by his findings.

Taylor is set to appear in court today.


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