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State Fire Investigators’ Work Leads To Prison Sentence For Giles County Man

Flammability Tests Disprove Father’s Story About Setting Daughter On Fire
Wednesday, September 18, 2019 | 01:08pm

NASHVILLE – A Giles County man is serving 10 years in a state prison after pleading guilty to charges related to setting his daughter on fire in 2018 after the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) Fire Investigations Section disproved the man’s story.

Giles County resident Timothy Shane Medley began serving his sentence in August after pleading guilty to charges of Aggravated Assault (6 years) and Abuse of An Adult (4 years).

“Through the efforts of the State Fire Marshal’s Office Fire Investigations Section, the victim of this crime was given a voice and justice was served,” said Tennessee State Fire Marshal and Interim Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance Commissioner Carter Lawrence. “I’m proud of the work by our team and their efforts to help close this case.”

Timothy Shane Medley told investigators that a May 23, 2018 fire occurred while he was bathing his adult daughter in 91% alcohol. His daughter is confined to a motorized wheelchair and, according to Medley, the alcohol bath was intended to stop her from itching. Initially, Medley told investigators the fire began while he was in the process of lighting a cigarette near his daughter. However, Medley later changed his explanation, stating that the fire began after he dropped the cigarette into his daughter’s lap.

SFMO investigators conducted a flammability test at the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy (TFACA) using a clothed mannequin similar in size and weight and positioning in a chair as the victim. The results of the tests demonstrated that only direct flame contact from a lighter to the mannequin resulted in ignition. All other attempts using the cigarette as the ignition source failed. 

To report a suspected arson, call the Arson Hot Line (1-800-762-3017) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Callers may remain anonymous when providing information. Cash awards are offered for information leading to an arrest or conviction.