INTERNATIONAL TRAINING CONFERENCE
APRIL 7-12 2024
The Challenges of Investigating & Prosecuting a Multi-State Serial Arsonist & Murderer
Wednesday, April 10, 2024 (8:00am - 12:00pm) (Celebrity 4)
What began as accidental fire investigation quickly evolved into a highly complex homicide case involving investigators across the United States and a Defendant directly involved in more than a dozen fires over five years. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Investigation Team worked with investigators and experts from across the United States to establish serial arsonist, Justin Caruso’s trail of fires and bring him to justice. This presentation dives into the details of Caruso’s criminal history, firefighting family, social media, and the successes and failures in the multi-state investigations of his many crimes and the evidence needed to convict this serial arsonist of murder. Fire investigators, detectives, and prosecutors will benefit from this in-depth discussion on how the collaboration of insurance investigators, police, fire investigators, and prosecutors across the country succeeded in identifying and convicting this serial arsonist.
C.H. Chung is a Deputy County Attorney for Maricopa County who specializes in arson cases. Mr. Chung brings nearly twenty years of experience, having started his law enforcement career as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, New York at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office. Having worked as a white-collar crime prosecutor, he still carries financial crimes and fraud in his caseload. Mr. Chung regularly provides legal training to arson investigators. He has instructed on Constitutional Law and expert witness presentation. In 2016, he was named the 2016 Attorney of the Year by the AZ chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators, and in 2022, he was a member of the team that received the 2022 Sandy Burnett Award for Outstanding Accomplishment by the International Association of Arson Investigators. He earned his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center after completing his undergraduate studies at the University of California at Berkeley.
A Chicago, Illinois native, Luke Coyne served as a firefighter for several years before moving to Arizona and becoming a prosecutor for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. In 2013, he was chosen by the International Conference of Law and Mental Health in Amsterdam to present his published paper, “Can Shame Be Therapeutic?”. Luke has served as a Deputy County Attorney with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office since 2015 and specializes in the investigation and prosecution of arson cases in the 4th largest county in the US.
He was honored with the 2022 International Association of Arson Investigators’ Sandy Burnett Outstanding Accomplishment Award and the 2022 Frank J. Molina Distinguished Service Award for the Arson and Murder prosecution of serial arsonist Justin Caruso. In addition, Luke was named the 2023 Attorney of the Year by the Arizona Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators for his continued role in the prosecution of arsonists including the conviction of a serial arsonist who caused over 15 million dollars in damages to Wal-Mart stores in the Phoenix area.
In addition to his duties as a Deputy County Attorney, Luke is a member of the International Association of Arson Investigators and its Arizona chapter where he teaches new and current arson investigators, assists other agencies nationwide with prosecution of arsonists, and serves as advisor to the executive board. Luke also serves as the Chairman of the Maricopa County Arson Task Force consisting of over forty law enforcement agencies and fire departments.