Wayne County woman who set home on fire draws 4-year sentence


RICHMOND, Ind. — A Wayne County woman who set her own home on fire has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Holly Lynn Wyatt, 53, had pleaded guilty to two counts of arson, a Level 4 felony carrying a maximum 12-year sentence.

She was arrested in April 2022 after a blaze was reported at her home in the 14800 block of Frank Myers Road north of Cambridge City.

Firefighters said the house was “fully engulfed” when they arrived. One firefighter suffered smoke inhalation, dehydration and heat exhaustion in battling the blaze.

Wyatt, most recently listed at a Richmond address, told investigators she set the fire — using a cigarette lighter, and spray paint as an accelerant — “because God told her to do so.”

Wayne Circuit Court Judge April Drake last week imposed a pair of six-year sentences, both with two years suspended. The judge ruled those sentences would be served concurrently.

The Wayne County prosecutor’s office filed a motion asking Judge Drake to order Wyatt to pay $75,000 in restitution, drawing an objection from defense attorney Samuel Battistone.

At last week’s hearing, the judge ruled “the state has failed to demonstrate that the defendant has the ability to pay restitution and has also failed to demonstrate what expenses the victim has incurred that were not reimbursed by insurance.”

Wyatt received credit for 408 days already spent in the Wayne County jail.

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

This article originally appeared on Muncie Star Press: Wayne County woman who set home on fire draws 4-year sentence



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