TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - The trial continued Tuesday for a local man accused of starting a fire and killing his brother in April of 2020.
Samuel Haney is facing charges of murder and arson in the death of his brother, Terry Haney. Terry Haney died days after a fire that police say Samuel Haney started at an apartment on 10th Street in Terre Haute.
Jurors heard from first responders, several neighbors, the property owner, a woman who knew both of the Haney brothers, and Samuel Haney’s ex-wife.
The woman who lived in the upstairs apartment said she heard glass break before an argument downstairs. Not long after, she said she smelled an unusual smell and then noticed smoke.
Other neighbors who testified on Tuesday described hearing Samuel Haney yelling before seeing smoke and noted that kind of activity was not unusual by the defendant.
A woman who said she had a relationship with both men testified on Tuesday. She said she’d known Samuel Haney since he was a child and that she had a romantic relationship with him previously. She also said she’d had an intimate relationship with Terry Haney, who had been staying with her.
The day of the fire, the woman said Samuel Haney showed up uninvited and that he had been drinking. She said the two argued. They both left, but when she returned later, she saw smoke coming from her house.
Samuel Haney’s ex-wife testified on Tuesday. She said Haney showed up unexpectedly and said Samuel Haney had set the apartment on fire. She noticed smoke coming from the direction of the apartment. His ex-wife said it appeared Samuel Haney had been drinking and was upset. She noted that Haney had blood on his arms. After explaining what he did, she said she told him to leave.
According to initial court documents filed in the case, Samuel Haney admitted to police that he set the fire. He also said he’d been in an argument with his brother earlier in the day. He said he broke a window and reached through with his hand, and used a lighter to set fire to the curtains.
Witnesses told police Samuel Haney was mad at the woman who lived in the apartment because she was letting Terry Haney stay with her.
On Monday, the State filed habitual offender charges against Samuel Haney after he rejected a plea offer. The trial is expected to wrap on Thursday.