GALLIPOLIS — A Rio Grande woman will be monitored for two years by the adult probation department of the Common Pleas Court of Gallia County after pleading guilty to one count of arson and one count of insurance fraud.
Marcella L. Taylor, 55, 21 Central Avenue, Rio Grande, was recently sentenced to 24 months of community control in the common pleas court and ordered to pay $2,480 in restitution to the Village of Rio Grande following a February 2011 fire at her residence.
Taylor was indicted earlier this year by a grand jury on one count of arson and insurance fraud, both fourth degree felonies.
The defendant was arrested by officers with the Rio Grande Police Department on March 19 along with Gary M. Barry, 57, Thurman, who was indicted for complicity to arson in relation to the case.
The charges followed an investigation into the residential fire that occurred on February 19, 2011, at Taylor’s home at 21 Central Avenue — a single family dwelling.
A nearby resident alerted authorities to the fire and, reportedly, one firefighter sustained minor injuries battling the blaze but was not hospitalized as a result of the injuries.
The investigation into the fire was conducted by the Division of State Fire Marshal, Rio Grande Police Department, Gallia County Sheriff’s Office, Rio Grande Fire Department and Gallia County Prosecutor’s Office.
According to the indictment in this case, the amount of the fraudulent claim against the victim of the insurance fraud, State Automobile Mutual Insurance, was $7,500 or more, but less than $150,000.
The home was completely destroyed in the fire.
Taylor pleaded guilty to both charges on July 2 after a negotiated plea was filed in this case.
A victim’s statement, agreeing to the plea was also filed on July 2 and signed by Assistant State Fire Marshal Keith Elliott.
The case against Barry, who pleaded not guilty to aiding or abetting Taylor in committing arson during a hearing in March, was recently dismissed.
According to an entry filed and signed by Judge D. Deans Evans and Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins, a “nolle prosequi” has been entered and the prosecution in this case will not proceed.
“The nolle is entered at the request of the State of Ohio, as further investigation is necessary,” the entry reads.
Barry will be accessed the costs of the prosecution.