Indictment Quashed Against Indianapolis Chief

Indictment Quashed Against Indianapolis Chief

Fire Chief Arnold W. Phillips, Indianapolis, Ind., Fire Department, was recently freed from criminal charges resulting from the Coliseum explosion which occurred in that city on October 31, 1963, killing 75 persons. Judge Eugene M. Fife, Criminal Court, Region 1, recently ruled the charge against Chief Phillips—failure to inspect the state-owned Coliseum—“did not constitute a public offense” because Phillips had no legal duty as a city officer to exercise authority on state property.

In a hearing before the court, the judge held the “defect” in Phillips’ indictment was “incurable” and summarily discharged the case. Judge Fife said that in his opinion Chief Phillips was not subject to re-indictment.

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