North Side arson charges admitted

A North Side resident pleaded guilty Monday to three counts of arson, two of them relating to her own house.

Annie Ruth Clarke, 47, admitted damaging her house by fire without lawful excuse and being reckless as to whether the life of another would be endangered.

The incidents at the house on Tidyman Lane in North Side occurred on Aug. 9, 2013, and on Oct. 7.

Another house, situated in front of the defendant’s house, was damaged in the October fire, resulting in the third charge.

Arson is damaging a property by fire without lawful excuse, intending to damage or destroy the property and intending the damage or destruction to endanger the life of another, or being reckless as to whether the life of another would be endangered.

On all three charges, Clarke pleaded guilty to recklessness, but not guilty to intent.

Crown Counsel Nicole Petit said the pleas were acceptable, and Justice Patrick Brooks set sentencing for Sept. 9.

No further details of any of the charges were given.

Defense attorney John Furniss asked for bail to continue and the judge consented after reviewing the conditions. One is that Clarke is not to be found within 100 feet of Tidyman Lane.

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