A woman will serve three years on probation after setting her apartment on fire minutes before she was due to be evicted.
Sondra K. Jones, 38, pleaded guilty in February to one count of second-degree arson and two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. She was arrested in August 2011 for allegedly setting her apartment at 2110 Dover Court on fire in what she called a failed suicide attempt. Two other people were in the neighboring apartment at the time, but no one was injured.
Thursday, Jones was to be sentenced to 10 years in prison, but received probation after several pleas including from her attorney and herself.
Jones, who has already served 569 days in jail, said her life has turned around completely in the last 18 months. She said she planned the fire as a suicide, but got scared.
“I deeply regret what I’ve done,” she told Clark Circuit Judge William Clouse. “While what I did was horrible, it probably saved my life.”
Jones’ attorney Kyle Morris said she “made a terrible mistake at the time, she was very depressed.
“She understands she made a poor choice in not notifying her neighbors. She made a poor choice in setting her place on fire.”
She has also been active in classes within the jail.
In light of the statements offered in court and that Jones has already served most of her sentence, Clouse approved probation. She was also ordered to pay restitution to the landlord and court costs.
At the time, neighbors said they saw Jones removing items from the apartment and leave minutes before they spotted the fire. Winchester Police officers spotted her a short time later and took her to the police department for questioning. She admitted that she set the fire and was charged with arson.
Contact Fred Petke at email@example.com.