Injuries Prove Arson Attempt - Prosecutor

Article excerpt

Byline: Anna Johnson Daily Herald Staff Writer

On a cold January night in 1998, four Cary residents were rushed to area hospitals after a spectacular fire gutted their house at 342 High Road.

Two of the victims, John T. Veysey III, 35, and his then 8-month old daughter, Sabrina, showed only minor fire-related injuries. But other two victims - Veysey's then-wife, Deserie, and then 3-year- old son, John IV - suffered critical levels of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning, according to hospital records.

In Federal Court on Wednesday prosecutors used the difference in the severity of the injuries to try to substantiate their claim that John Veysey III intentionally torched his home and in the process tried to kill his wife and son to collect more than $500,000 in insurance money.

"We had to establish how close they (Deserie and John IV) were to death," said one of the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Layng.

Prosecutors accuse Veysey of orchestrating a series of deadly insurance fraud schemes from 1991 to 1999, which included starting four house fires; killing his first wife, Patricia, under mysterious circumstances in 1995; and carrying out, three years later, the Cary incident. …