MORRISTOWN — A woman who wanted to get back at her neighbors for allegedly turning her in the state welfare officials has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly setting fire to their trailer while they were in it, Morristown police said.
Leola Bell, 35, and a friend, Tina Cole, 40, pleaded not guilty on Friday to attempted first-degree murder and first-degree arson charges. They were being held on $100,000 bail.
No one was hurt in the fire last Tuesday but the trailer had substantial damage, police said. It was occupied by four adults and two small children at the time, police said.
Bell said she wanted to get back at the family, who she suspected had called the welfare office on her, according to a police affidavit.
She stated that she “wanted to do something to them — a fire,” because of the paper work she had received, the police affidavit said. But she said Cole was the one who started the fire.
She said after Cole talked to a friend about how to set a fire, Bell then bought supplies — matches, a soup ladle and storage container, the affidavit said. The two bought gas and Cole filled up a plastic bottle and walked toward the neighbor’s home, while Bell said she told her not to, the affidavit said. Bell said Cole screamed and ran back to the vehicle, the affidavit said.
Two other people are facing arson charges in the case. Cynthia Bell, 57, and Gwen Hislop, 49, of Morristown will be arraigned Wednesday on charges of accessory to arson for their roles in the fire at 80 George St., police.
More charges are expected.MORE IN Vermont NewsJulie Brill, a commissioner with the Federal Trade Commission and a resident of Randolph, was at... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1852, Henri Giffard demonstrates the first steam-powered airship, sailing 17 miles from Paris to Trappes; on this day in 1877, Japanese imperial troops crush the Satsuma Rebellion, Saigo Takamori dies in Kagoshima.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: U.S. Rep. Peter Welch meets with Killington business owners, governor candidates debate, Gov. Shumlin discusses progress in anti-opiate campaign, Spanos trial venue moves to White River Junction.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1776, as Nathan Hale is hanged by British military authorities for spying, he utters his famous last words — or does he? In 1975, Sara Jane Moore attempts to kill President Gerald R. Ford in San Francisco.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Patrick McArdle reports and the theft of an $89,000 shotgun, police release a video of the Monday Castleton robbery, O'Gorman reports a lawsuit by a local man claiming his vehicle unlawfully seized, police leave him in cold.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Giles Corey of Salem, Mass., is pressed to death during the Salem witch trials; on this day in 1952, film comedian Charlie Chaplin, while traveling to England, is denied re-entry into the United States by U.S. attorney general.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Dutch father of microbiology Antonie van Leeuwenhoek discovers the existence of one-celled organisms; in 1967, The Doors are booked to play the Ed Sullivan show; in 1858, freedom fighter Dred Scott dies on this day in St. Louis.