A 41-year-old man already in City Jail on arson charges was charged today with three counts of murder in the 1989 deaths of an Indiana woman and her two young children whose bodies were found in the charred ruins of their house.
James Patrick Harrison, who police said left Indiana shortly after the fire and was believed to have been in the Baltimore area since late 1989, was charged by Indiana police with murder and arson.
Kenneth R. Rose, police chief of Mount Vernon, Ind., served Harrison with the arrest papers as he entered the Clarence M. Mitchell Courthouse for the start of his trial on arson charges from a Baltimore fire last August. Rose had obtained an arrest warrant for Harrison last Thursday.
Indiana police said Harrison is charged with the deaths of Stacy Forsee, 20, her daughter, Tia Foresee, 3, and her son, Jordan Forsee, 18 months, in Mount Vernon.
Indiana fire officials said the January 1989 fire began when a flammable liquid was poured on the bed in the master bedroom of the one-story house and ignited. Forsee and her daughter were in the room at the time. Jordan was in a nearby bedroom.
An autopsy determined that Stacy Forsee had suffered eight stab wounds in the chest and abdomen before the fire. The girl died of burns; the boy from smoke inhalation.
City police said Harrison, who also lived in the building in the 1300 block of E. Baltimore St. he is charged with setting afire, was fired from the company and threatened to burn the building down.
Police said several small fires were set Aug. 11 and that Harrison was seen running from the area at the time the fires were discovered.
Charging papers said Harrison had been convicted and sentenced for the deaths of two former girlfriends in Arlington, Va., nearly two decades ago. He was charged with manslaughter for the May 1972 death of one girlfriend and given a five-year sentence. In the other murder, which occurred in October, 1973, Harrison was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 20 years.