Man accused of setting VB military family’s car on fire has charges dismissed; judge said prosecution mishandled case

Virginia Beach

The judge said on Monday that the prosecution mishandled the case.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — All charges have been dismissed against a man previously found guilty of destruction of property in a case involving a series of terrorizing events at a Virginia Beach military family’s home.

The judge dismissed charges of arson and destruction of property just minutes before the jury was to be selected in the trial, saying that the prosecution mishandled the case against Theodore Olsen.

WAVY’s Jason Marks reports the defense claimed that the prosecution withheld information in the case, but prosecutors say the info was mailed to Olsen’s home. Monday’s events do not mean the case is completely over, however. There will be another hearing later this week and the prosecution hopes the judge changes his mind about what they called a legal technicality.

Olsen, who was 45 when he was arrested in January of 2020, had been found guilty of two counts of destruction of property related to the series of incidents at the military family’s home.

Olsen was sentenced in April to 730 days with 470 days suspended for the destruction of property charges, but appealed the sentence. Those charges were dismissed Monday in addition to an arson charge.

The family said the scary events over the course of a year included nights of rocks being thrown through windows, nails in their driveway and graffiti on their garage. Eventually, their car was set on fire in the driveway.

“I was never afraid of this individual but we will be cautious in making sure our family is protected and taken care of,” said arson victim Micheal Hanner.

Hanner still believes Olsen was the man who committed the crimes.

“Eventually we are hopeful that justice will prevail,” Hanner added.

Olsen told Jason Marks after court he was happy the charges were dropped. Olsen said he didn’t burn the Hanner’s car, but also said he didn’t want to discuss the case.

Micheal Hanner

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