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APRIL 7-12 2024


State v. Claude F. Garrett & The Application of the Scientific Method

Tuesday, April 9, 2024 (8:00am - 12:00pm) Celebrity 1-8 (excluding 5)

Mr. Claude Francis Garrett was convicted of Arson/Murder in 1993 as a result of the failure to apply the Scientific Method. In 1998, a Tennessee Appellate court determined that exculpatory evidence was withheld, and the court ordered a new trial. Mr. Garrett was convicted again of the same charge in 2003. 30 years of research results since 1993 and the unanimous opinions of at least 12 independent fire investigators confirmed the authorities failed to apply the Scientific Method. After more than 40 appeals, and efforts by independent fire investigators, the Tennessee Innocence Project and the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office, Tennessee Conviction Review Unit reviewed the case. On May 10, 2022, Mr. Claude Garrett was officially exonerated. 

This presentation offers: An analysis of the event, its investigation, and 30 years of post-conviction appeals/hearings. The results of an independent investigation by a television production company which televised its results in the episode titled, “Flames of Passion” on March 24, 2020. A summation of independent fire investigators’ analyses of the event and its investigation. An analysis of impacts on lives from the improper application of the Scientific Method. o An interview with Deana Watson, daughter of Mr. Claude F. Garrett.



Dr. Candace Ashby

Dr. Candace Ashby is a career firefighter with over 33 years of fire service experience and is a Battalion Chief with the Indianapolis Fire Department. Her educational background includes a Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership. She is President of Key Fire Investigations and ELITE Public Safety Consulting. Dr. Ashby enjoys making a positive impact in the fire service through coaching, mentoring, and leading positive change.


Gary Haun

A second-generation fire investigator with over 36 years of experience in field of Fire & Explosion investigation for the insurance industry Mr. Haun trained primarily under the direction of a former Tennessee State Fire Marshal/Certified Fire Investigator in the 1980s. Registered nationally as a Certified Fire & Explosion Investigator (C.F.E.I.) through the National Association of Fire Investigation (N.A.F.I.) in 1989 the youngest in the US at that time to gain certification as well as a Certified Fire Investigator Instructor (C.F.I.I.) and Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator (C.V.F.I.) through N.A.F.I. Mr. Haun is also a Certified Fire Investigator (C.F.I.), (C.F.I.-V) Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator, and Fire Investigation Technician (F.I.T.) as well as a Certified Evidence Collections Technician through the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI). He is registered multiple times with the National Board for Fire Service Professional Qualifications (ProBoard) as a Certified Fire Investigator and is a graduate of both the National Fire Academy on two occasions and the Virginia Department of Fire Programs Fire Marshal Academy based on NFPA 921 & 1033 school. Mr. Haun is also a Certified ASE Automotive Technician ( Mechanic) in reference to automobiles and light trucks. He has testified as an expert witness in both state and federal criminal and civil courts of law in various states. Has over 30 years as a self-employed Fire Investigator trading as Fire Analysis Consulting Group LLC in the State of Virginia (1997) as well as took control of Southern Fire Analysis LLC. in 2017 one of the oldest private fire investigation firms in the state of Tennessee.


Stuart Bayne

50 years associated with the Fire Service; 43 years investigation; 70+ testimonies presented; 1500+ investigations; Thousands of hours as an instructor since the late 1970's (including technical school and college levels also NFA, IAAI, TN Assoc. of Crim. Def. Lawyers, etc.; Several certifications

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