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Two Kansans accused of arson in fire that killed K-State researcher

Updated: 2013-03-07T18:04:08Z

Kansas federal prosecutors announced arson charges Thursday against two Manhattan residents who allegedly caused an apartment fire that killed a Kansas State University researcher.

If convicted, Patrick Martin Scahill, 20, and Virginia Amanda Griese, 19, could face life in prison, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said in a written statement.

The charges alleged that Scahill and Griese were responsible for the Feb. 6 fire at the Lee Crest Apartments that killed Vasanta Pallem, a 34-year-old postdoctoral researcher in chemical engineering.

Grissom declined to discuss any motive for the alleged arson.

| Mark Morris, mmorris@kcstar.com

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