Woman Faces Arson Charges After Trying to Find “Relief” From Anger
A Dallas woman faces arson charges after she tried to set fire to her yoga studio, according to local news.
Many people have commented that she was smiling in her mug shot. Normally, suspects don’t smile after they’ve been arrested, especially for crimes like arson. Nancy “Suzanne” Duarte, however, says that she is trying to let go of her anger, especially anger caused by the yoga studio.
“I thought it was going to make me happy… to burn the place that had brought me so much pain and suffering,” Duarte said.
Duarte told officers that two men associated with the yoga studio had repeatedly hit on her, even when she asked them to stop. They both harassed her for years, despite the harassment being against yoga philosophy.
“He kept hitting on me and kept trying to make me the girlfriend on the side,” Duarte claimed about one of the men. “Even as I’m walking out the door, he kept trying to put his hands on me, and I was like, ‘No!’”
On Saturday, March 21st, Duarte said she waited until the studio closed down and there was no one inside, because she didn’t want to hurt anyone – although witnesses said she could have easily set fire to the rest of the shopping center around the yoga studio.
“Just to set it on fire, just destroy it, get rid of the devil’s temple,” Duarte said.
We will face a trial later for the arson charges, and has been released for now on a $16,000 bond.
Defense of Arson Charges in South Carolina
South Carolina has a few types of arson laws, considered criminal property damage. Under South Carolina property damage law, it is illegal to willfully or maliciously injure, damage, or destroy the property of another – including buildings, land, animals, and other personal property.
The level of penalty you receive depends on how much damage has been done to the property.
- Less than $1,000 in damage is a misdemeanor, and you could be in jail for up to a year
- $1,000 – $5,000 in damage is a felony, and you could spend up to 5 years in prison
- $5,000 or more is also a felony charge, and you could spend up to 1o years in jail
If your intention is to set a controlled fire, but negligently allow the fire to spread to another’s property, you could face a misdemeanor charge and could be in jail for up to 30 days.
If you intentionally set fire to your own property in order to gain insurance money, this is considered insurance fraud as well as a criminal felony. If convicted of this arson crime, you will spend at least one year in jail, and could spend up to five years in prison.
The Strom Law Firm Defends Criminal Charges Including Arson
If you have been charged with arson in South Carolina, you could face a long trial, steep court fines, and years in jail. The criminal defense attorneys at the Strom Law Firm understand South Carolina’s arson laws, and can defend you in court. We offer free, confidential case evaluations, so contact us today for help. 803.252.4800