Jury finds Easley man not guilty in wife’s 2010 death

PICKENS — A Pickens County jury found a former Easley businessman not guilty Tuesday of murder and arson in connection with the 2010 death of his wife.
Don Kinsela had faced charges after his wife Cheryl died of smoke inhalation in a two-story, air-conditioned outbuilding behind their Easley home in July 2010, after a fire broke out while the couple was taking a break from several hours of lawn work.

Kinsela was represented by attorney Druanne White, who argued that Cheryl Kinsela’s death was nothing more than a horrific accident.

Evidence presented by the prosecution sought to establish that Kinsela deliberately set the fire that killed his wife, while the defense sought to prove that the fire was accidental in nature, a flash or vapor fire that ignited spilled gasoline rapidly, then grew out of control.

Kinsela had told police that he was refueling a brush trimmer in the shed when it exploded, starting the dire.

Jurors deliberated Tuesday after four days of trial testimony and two days of pretrial testimony ended. Kinsela faced 30 years to life for the murder charge and no less than 30 years for the first-degree arson charge if he was convicted.