Two plead not guilty to arson

0

PARIS — Two women pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Oxford County Superior Court to charges they set fire to several buildings in Albany Township last year.

JoAnn Farris, 63, of Albany Township, and her daughter Lisa Thurston, 38, of Gilead, were indicted in December by an Oxford County grand jury on charges they set fire to buildings belonging to George Sprague of Albany Township on Aug. 21.

According to Dan Young, an investigator for the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Sprague had lived with the women and was providing some financial support to them but moved out.

He said the women were angry with Sprague for moving out and refusing to return.

Advertisement

According to Young, Farris convinced Thurston to set the fire. He said Farris first drove to pick up kerosene, then brought her daughter to the scene where Thurston poured it on the buildings and lit them.

Two log cabins, a maintenance building and two storage buildings were destroyed.

Later, a dog trained to detect ignitable liquids sniffed out the kerosene.

Young said is December that both women were interviewed and admitted to being involved in the fire. He said that because of Farris’ health problems, they were given summonses rather than arrested.

Arson is a Class A crime. The women each face up to 40 years in jail and a $50,000 fine if convicted.

Thurston was released on a $2,500 unsecured bond. Farris’ bail was $5,000 unsecured. Neither of the women is allowed to have contact with Sprague. The two were appointed separate lawyers.

treaves@sunjournal.com

Advertisement