Jury deliberations begin in Doran arson trial

Posted at 3:44 PM, Apr 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-19 17:44:21-04

The fate of a man who was accused of setting a family home on fire is now in the hands of the jury.

Daniel Patrick Doran is charged with arson for a house fire in January of 2016.

During closing arguments, the state said that Doran turned his phone off for an hour and 45 minutes.

The state says he did this so he could drive back from Helena and light the fire.

Detectives obtained cell phone records for Doran, which showed that his cell phone was "pinging" off of towers in Helena at around 11:05 p.m. on January 14th. At about 12:50 a.m. on January 15th, Doran’s cell phone began to ping off of towers just outside of Great Falls. Phone records then showed Doran’s phone pinging off of towers all the way back to Helena at 1:44 a.m.

The state has surveillance video from several businesses near the house of a dark-colored truck consistent with Doran’s vehicle that drove past the home at about 12:34 a.m. on January 15th, after the fire was started. 

But the defense says Doran did not drive his truck to Helena that night, he drove his wife’s car.

And the only reason that he left the Helena area that night is because he picked up a hitchhiker and was giving him a ride to the Wolf Creek area.

The defense also said that more than three people had keys to the family home.

We will update you when a jury has come back with a decision.

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