Court rules woman's overturned conviction cannot be appealed

Kristine Bunch served 17 years in prison for murder and arson.

13 Investigates has learned an appeals court decision to overturn the conviction of an Indiana mother convicted of murder and arson cannot be appealed.

Attorneys for Kristine Bunch tell Eyewitness News the Indiana Supreme Court has refused to hear the case. This means prosecutors in Decatur County must decide to either give Bunch a new trial or set her free. She has spent almost 17 years in prison.

Bunch was convicted of setting the 1995 fire in her Greensburg mobile home that killed her 3-year-old son, Tony.

In March, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the convictions against Bunch should be tossed out after new evidence showed no accelerants and that the fire likely started in the ceiling. The Indiana attorney general tried to appeal that ruling to the State Supreme Court.

"We respect the ruling of the Indiana Supreme Court and we stand ready to assist the Prosecutor, if asked, in seeking justice through any further proceedings in the trial court," the attorney general's office wrote in a release Wednesday afternoon.

Northwestern University's Center for Wrongful Conviction challenged Indiana's outdated fire investigation techniques to help win a new trial for Bunch. Her lead attorney, Ron Safer, will now ask the State of Indiana to set her free, even if prosecutors decide to retry the case.