Wayne County woman who said God told her to set fire to her home pleads guilty to arson


RICHMOND, Ind. – A Wayne County woman who told sheriff’s deputies that God told her to set fire to her home has pleaded guilty to arson.

Holly 53, is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 15 in Wayne Circuit Court after pleading guilty to a Level 4 felony punishable by up to 12 years in prison.

White was arrested on April 10, 2022, after a fire was reported at her home in the 14800 block of Frank Myers Road, near Interstate 70 north of Cambridge.

Emergency responders said the house was “fully engulfed” when they arrived at the scene, and that the fire had spread to a wooded area near the house.

According to court documents, a firefighter was injured while fighting the blaze, suffering from smoke inhalation, dehydration and heat exhaustion.

White, who was recently listed at an address in Richmond, told deputies in a recorded interview that she “set the house on fire because God told her to.”

According to an affidavit, she said she used a cigarette lighter and spray paint as an accelerant to ignite a shirt in an upstairs bedroom.

She stated that she then used the lighter to set fire to the mattress, which was completely filled, and then set fire to the laundry baskets before going downstairs and setting the window curtains in the living room on fire.

White was taken into custody that day after deputies responded to a report of an “unwanted person” outside a nearby home along First Industrial Road.

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office filed a motion asking Judge April Drake to order White to pay $75,000 in restitution.

Defense attorney Samuel Battiston objected to this request.

Court records do not reflect any prior convictions for White.

Douglas Walker is a news reporter at The Star Press. Contact him at 765-213-5851 or dwalker@muncie.gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on the Muncie Star Press: A Wayne County woman has pleaded guilty to setting fire to her home

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