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Petty officer accused of arson acquitted

A sailor accused of setting fire to a Virginia apartment building in 2015 was acquitted following a court martial trial last week at Naval Station Norfolk.

Yeoman 2nd Class Charmaine K. March was arrested in early 2016 and charged by state prosecutors with felony arson in after investigators began to suspect foul play following the Oct. 28, 2015 blaze in the Abbington Landing complex in the 900 block of Marcus Drive in Newport News.

The case was dropped in mid-2018 and picked up by the Navy, which charged March with one count of aggravated arson in August 2018.

March’s military attorney, Lt. Justin Bass, said his client was acquitted Thursday on the sole charge and declined further comment.

He previously pointed out to Navy Times that the case was dismissed in Newport News Circuit Court.

Government prosecutors declined to comment through Navy Region Mid-Atlantic spokesperson Jeffrey Hood.

March enlisted in the Navy in 2012 and has been assigned to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth since 2017.

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