Kansas City Woman Charged with Arson, Knowingly Burning or Exploding
Recently a 26-year-old Kansas City woman was charged with first degree arson and knowingly burning or exploding after authorities claimed she set fire to the apartment she lived in at Gotham Apartments twice on the same day. According to court records, Marquita Washington was seen by a neighbor flicking a lighter while pacing the halls of the apartment complex located on Linwood Blvd. Washington denied the allegations against her and was held on $50,000 bond at the time of news reports.
In Missouri, first degree arson is generally charged as a class B felony and involves intentionally burning a structure when the alleged perpetrator knows there is a person or people near or inside the building. If someone sustains injuries or life is lost, it is charged as a class A felony which means the penalties if convicted will be harsher.
If charged as a class B felony, those found guilty of first degree arson may be sentenced to between 5 and 15 years in prison.
Washington was also charged with knowingly burning which is a class E felony and involves intentional burning of property that is not a structure or building; Washington reportedly torched a neighbor's welcome mat as well. The punishment for this offense includes a fine of up to $10,000 and a maximum of four years in prison.
Arson crimes are vigorously prosecuted and should be taken seriously. If you have been charged with arson, knowingly or reckless burning, or any related offense it is vital to consult with a qualified Kansas City criminal defense attorney. Even if you are under investigation and have not been charged, it is important to protect your legal rights from the very beginning. There are many innocent people behind bars today; regardless of innocence or guilt, there are various legal options that must be explored in order to reach the best possible result in any criminal case.