Renter pleads not guilty to setting apartment on fire


By Leah Wankum, Editor

A Richmond woman charged with arson has pleaded not guilty in circuit court to setting fire to her apartment.

Carolena D. Laguna, 36, was charged July 22 with first-degree arson, a Class B felony, after she allegedly said the day before that she was going to set her house on South Camden Street on fire. She pleaded not guilty during her arraignment Sept. 8 in front of Eighth Circuit Judge David Miller.

Prosecuting Attorney Camille Johnston alleged in the charging document that Laguna knowingly started a fire when someone was inside, recklessly placing that person in danger of death or serious injury.

Firefighters with the Richmond Fire Department responded to a house fire at 9:13 p.m. at 504 S. Camden St. Upon arrival, they discovered and put out the source of the fire in a rear bedroom on the ground floor of the two-story home. No injuries were reported.

While Richmond firefighters were putting out the fire, a man Laguna later described as her “ex-brother-in-law” told Richmond police on scene that Laguna had told him she was going to burn the house down, according to a probable cause statement. Assistant Fire Chief Mark Sowder said that during the initial investigation, Richmond firefighters found the origin and cause of the fire to be suspicious.

The complete story is in the Friday, September 22, 2017 Richmond News.

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