A Lake Havasu City woman charged with arson in a residential structure fire was released from jail after she was sentenced in Kingman on April 7. Vanessa Byrd, 40, was convicted through a plea agreement of the lesser offense of criminal damage.
Prosecutor James Schoppmann said it appeared that Byrd knocked over a candle that sparked the fire that damaged the home last summer. He said Byrd was making nonsensical statements about butterflies and flowers when firefighters arrived.
“Miss Byrd has been suffering from mental illness for a long time,” defense attorney Ting-Wei Chiang said at sentencing.
Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen gave Byrd credit for 76 days in custody and placed her on probation for three years. He also directed her to pay $10,000 restitution as compensation for damage to the home.