Fatal Fire Now Federal Case

On Thursday morning several local and federal officials gathered near the Riley County Courthouse to announce the suspects accused of setting a fatal fire at Lee Center apartments in Manhattan are now facing federal charges.

U.S. attorney Barry Grissom told those gathered that a team comprised  of local and federal attorneys and experts will bring suspects Patrick Scahill, and Virginia Griese to justice.  Grissom says the pair will answer for pouring gasoline down a hallway at the apartment complex, and igniting the fuel which led to the death of 34-year-old Kansas State Research Assistant Vasanta Pallem.

Currently both defendants are being held at the Riley County Police Department on federal hold until they are transported to a federal facility.  Scahill, and Griese will appear in court next Wednesday in Topeka for the first hearings in the federal court system.