Lockport police apparently believe that Caleb E. Bell Jr. was attempting suicide when he allegedly set fire to his home Nov. 8, but defense attorney Brian J. Hutchison said the claim is questionable.
Hutchison said Bell denied repeatedly in a five-hour interview that he set the fire at 605 E. High St. But at booking, Hutchison said Bell made a vague comment, caught on tape, that led police to conclude he was trying to kill himself.
Bell's mother, Holly Seiler, was found dead after an Oct. 20 fire at the same home. At a court hearing Tuesday, Detective Lt. Todd Chenez testified that Bell was told he was a suspect in the earlier fire, but denied setting it. No one has been arrested in the earlier case.