26-year-old James Huffman charged with arson and murder in St. Joseph County

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By: Amanda Mitchell

A 26-year-old man was charged May 27 in connection with a Jan. 20 arson, and the murder of Robert Tucker. 

James Huffman was ordered held without bond.

The following is a press release from the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office.

“James Huffman, 26, was charged yesterday with Murder and two counts of Arson, each a Level 2 Felony, in connection with the January 20, 2015, Greenview Avenue fire that resulted in Robert Tucker’s death.

Probable cause was found and an arrest warrant ordered issued. Huffman was ordered held without bond. At the time charges were filed, Huffman was in the custody of Miami County on an unrelated matter. We anticipate Huffman will retum to our jurisdiction shortly.

Please see attached Criminal Information and Probable Cause Affidavit.

On January 20, 2015, firefighters and police officers were dispatched to the 800 block of Greenview Avenue, South Bend, and found a home engulfed in flames. Four people within the home were evacuated, but Robert Tucker, who had been sleeping on the couch, died as a result of injuries sustained in the fire. The fire was determined to be arson, in that it was deliberately set, most likely by throwing a gasoline bomb, known as a Molotov cocktail, through the front window of the home.

Please be advised that the charges filed against the defendant are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.”