Jury trial set for man accused of killing victim in Minneapolis arson | KSTP.com

Jury trial set for man accused of killing victim in Minneapolis arson

David Chamberlain Photo: Hennepin County Sheriff's Office. David Chamberlain

Kyle Brown
Updated: October 11, 2021 03:45 PM
Created: October 10, 2021 07:33 PM

A Champlin man has pleaded not guilty to murder after one of the victims injured in a home he allegedly set fire to died months later.

David Chamberlain, 37, is charged with second-degree murder and first-degree arson in connection with a June 6 house fire in north Minneapolis that killed 53-year-old Darrin Solomon.

According to a criminal complaint, around 2:22 p.m. June 6, firefighters responded to a report of a house fire on the 3300 block of Emerson Avenue North. A man who lived at the house said before discovering the fire, Chamberlain had been at the house looking for another resident. Chamberlain had allegedly been at the house recently and was "causing problems" with the roommates.

One resident who talked to police said he smelled something burning, checked the back door and saw two chairs on the back porch that were on fire. He tried to move the chairs, but the fire had grown quickly, the complaint states. One of the other residents then arrived and went upstairs to get his brother, identified as Solomon. Solomon's brother said he saw Chamberlain walking toward his home while he was heading out to the corner store.

Witnesses told police that Chamberlain had been showing up to the house unannounced and uninvited and that he had previously broken into the house and threatened to burn the house down.

Solomon and his brother were both taken to the hospital. Solomon had burns on 70% of his body and was put into a medically induced coma. He was pronounced dead on Sept. 2. According to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, Solomon died of thermal injuries and his death was ruled a homicide.

Chamberlain was originally charged with first-degree arson and robbery, but the robbery charge was dropped in a criminal complaint amended on Sept. 24 to include second-degree murder.

Police took Chamberlain into custody on June 15, and he remains in custody. A judge has set his bail at $500,000.

Chamberlain has pleaded not guilty to both charges against him. His next hearing is set for Dec. 7, and a jury trial has been scheduled for Jan. 24. 

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