The 47-year-old Upper Marlboro man charged by Prince George's County police Tuesday night with arson-murder in the deaths of his elderly mother and father, apparently had been told to leave home the same day the incident occurred, a neighbor said yesterday.
Thomas Vance Hinley, of 9527 Montrose St., was charged with two counts of first degree murder in the May 16 deaths of 72-year-old Vance A. Hinely and his 66-year old wife, Caegree murder in the May 16 deaths of 72-year-old wife, Catherine.
Police said they arrested Thomas Hinely after examining evidence and interviewing the suspect.
Police said the blaze that killed Hinely's parents and gutted their splitlevel brick home in a quiet subdivision in western Upper Marlboro occurred after the suspect "had a heated argument with his mother."
A neighbor, Sandra Stapleton of 9525 Montrose St., said yesterday that the suspect's mother had told her she planned to ask her son to leave because of his drinking.
Police said the incident began when Mrs. Hinely left the room after the argument. A living room sofa there was doused with gasoline and ignited, they said.
Mrs. Hinely apparently tried to help her husband, who was crippled, escape, police said. The couple's bodies were found huddles near the front door, according to police.
Police said that at first their investigation focused on the possibility that the deaths might have been suicide.
Both police and fire investigators discarded that theory, according to police, after discovering that the Hinelys apparently tried to escape the fire.
Neighbors said the fire, which broke out shortly after 7 p.m. grapidly closed escape routes from the home. Rescue efforts by some neighbors failed.
Vance Hinely was a retired District of Columbia policeman, who moved into the subdivision when it was built nearly 15 years ago, according to neighbors, who said the elder Hinely suffered from diabetes and was unable to walk.
Thomas Hinely, formerly manager of a Safeway store, moved into his parents' home following a divorce some time ago, neighbors said.