DUBOIS – A woman accused of setting a motel room on fire waived her right to a preliminary hearing Friday during centralized court in DuBois.
Lisa Marie Williams, 37, whose address is listed as the DuBois Manor Motel, is charged with arson, reckless burning, risking a catastrophe and criminal mischief, all felonies. She is being held in the county jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.
The charges stem from an incident on June 26 at the motel.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, when police arrived on the scene, the fire in the room rented by Williams was out, but they could see the bed and covers were severely burned along with the floor and walls.
Williams claimed she did not know what happened because she stayed the night in another room where she and a man drank until the early-morning hours.
She reportedly stated that she did not even know that her room had been on fire until she heard people talking just 15 minutes before the police arrived.
Her friend told police that they were drinking in her room when she got angry and threw a chair.
At about 1 a.m., this witness reportedly said she lit the comforter on the bed on fire. He said he saw the flame and smoke, asked her what she was doing and then went to his room.
She later showed up at his room and spent the night there.
Around 7:30 a.m., when he woke up, she asked him to go to her room to see how much damage had been done, he explained to police.
After he saw the damage, he went back to his room and told Williams that she “did some damage.”
This witness also said the lighter she used was with her pack of cigarettes in his room. Police were able to take it into evidence.
He also mentioned that he had text-messaged a friend about the situation, commenting that she shouldn’t be surprised if he ended up in jail because a woman he met the night before had “torched” her room.
Photos of the texts were also taken as evidence.
In another interview with Williams, she was advised of what investigators had discovered. She then changed her story multiple times, always saying that nothing was on fire.
In her final statement, she said when she threw the chair, she knocked a hot ash off a cigarette that fell to an unknown location.
She claimed that she could smell something burning but couldn’t find anything. After 15 minutes of looking for the source, she left and went to the other motel room, she stated, according to the complaint.
A fire marshal’s report on the physical evidence confirmed what the witness had told police that the source of the fire was a direct flame on the comforter that burned up the side and across the top of the bed.
Damage to the room was estimated by the owner to exceed $5,000.