MEDFORD, Ore. – A Jackson County man is headed to prison after a jury found him guilty on an arson charge in Medford Thursday. The jury took just 30 minutes to come back with the unanimous verdict after the defense didn’t call a single witness.
Prosecutors said Michael McNall intentionally caused the explosion at his large home outside of Prospect in April 2016, and stood to benefit from it through a $300,000 renter’s insurance policy.
“We know in 2005 they took out a mortgage for 300,000 dollars because they owed back taxes,” said Jackson County Deputy District Attorney Alyssa Claseman. “This time, he’s going to owe back taxes again and his dad isn’t going to be around to bail him out anymore. So, he has to find a different plan.”
The defense said there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the explosion was his doing.
In a taped interview with investigators years ago, after the explosion, McNall raised the possibility he was being targeted. “I think there’s a lot of reasons somebody wants me dead,” he said.
In that interview, McNall said two men showed up at the home hours before the explosion but he couldn’t provide police much of a description. “I cannot still tell you what color their hair was,” McNall stated. “They were white guys.”
McNall told investigators that day in 2016 that the explosion was no accident, but maintained he had nothing to do with it.
In the end, the jury disagreed.
But before he could be taken away, the defense attorney asked for a simple request: if his client could hug his wife goodbye.
The judge answered no.
“I have some information reached to me about Mr. McNall’s wife coming to court with a firearm, so I don’t think that would be a good idea at all,” said Judge David Orr.
McNall was taken into custody immediately.
In addition to arson in the first degree, he was found guilty of attempted aggravated theft in the first degree. That’s the theft of more than $10,000 of another person’s money.
He will serve 34 months in prison for the crimes.