Insurance company sues arsonist, killer

August 04, 1993|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

A Virginia insurance company sued a convicted arsonist and a convicted killer in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court yesterday for their roles in a 1991 fire that destroyed a Pasadena home.

The lawyer for Allstate Insurance Co. said he has little hope of recovering any money but that he is obligated to try.

Allstate, based in Roanoke, Va., filed the suit against Michael W. Lowe, who was convicted in the 1991 arson of a house in the 400 block of Riverside Drive, and MacArthur Rayman, who also was convicted in the arson and in an unrelated murder.

The suit seeks $167,685 in damages.

It says that Lowe and Rayman broke into the home May 28, 1991, caused the fire that destroyed it and were negligent in not "attempting to extinguish the flames, nor seek assistance to extinguish the flames."

Winn Cullen Friddell, Allstate's lawyer, said he sued on behalf of the insurer just in case either defendant was covered by any type of insurance -- such as a homeowner's policy -- that would cover the loss.

"Sometimes there happens to be some insurance coverage out there that nobody knew about," he said.

Lowe, 20, of the 500 block of A St. in Pasadena, pleaded guilty to arson and was sentenced March 31, 1992, to 18 months by Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr., according to court records.

The judge agreed two months later to let Lowe complete his sentence under house arrest at his parents' home, the records show.

Rayman, who also was sentenced to 18 months in the incident, is currently serving a 15-year sentence for second-degree murder.

Rayman, 20, formerly of Gambrills, was convicted in January 1992 of killing Marcus Maddox, 19, of Cape St. Claire in the summer of 1991.

Mr. Maddox had been shot twice in the head and once in the shoulder with a .22-caliber semiautomatic rifle.

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