A man accused of setting a blaze that led to the death of a Phoenix firefighter has been convicted of negligent homicide and arson by a jury, but was found not guilty of first-degree murder.
Twenty-seven-year-old Christopher Benitez will be sentenced in Maricopa County Superior Court on June 3.
The former Army soldier was arrested in the 2001 death of 40-year-old Phoenix firefighter Bret Tarver, who died of burns and smoke inhalation while battling a fire at a west Phoenix supermarket.
Benitez was accused of igniting cardboard boxes behind a Southwest Supermarket in west Phoenix, starting a fire that jumped to the store and spread through the attic as firefighters worked below.
In November, a jury failed to reach a verdict in the case, and a mistrial was declared.
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