Lacey Moore, 44, of Little Rock pleaded guilty Friday to starting a series of fires in 2013 at an apartment complex, officials said.
Moore entered guilty pleas to two counts of arson before U.S. District Judge J. Leon Holmes, U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer said in a statement.
In her plea, Moore admitted to starting the fire that resulted in the “complete destruction of the North Building of the Forest Place Apartments on University Avenue in Little Rock,” Thyer’s statement said. The two counts to which she pleaded stem from the largest fires at Forest Place in 2013.
She pleaded guilty to starting the May 16 fire that destroyed the North Building, "resulting in the evacuation of more than 300 residents, permanently displacing 79 residents, leading to injuries to Little Rock firefighters and caused millions of dollars in damage," Thyer said. She also pleaded guilty to the June 28 fire that forced another 100 residents to be evacuated, according to the statement.
Moore was indicted on seven counts of arson following an investigation into seven separate fires that broke out at the complex between February and June, officials said.
As part of a plea deal, Thyer said, the remaining counts will be dismissed, though Moore said in her hearing that she did set all the fires and accepts responsibility for paying the $12.5 million in restitution.
She faces a statutory sentencing range for starting the May 16, 2013 fire of at least seven to 40 years of imprisonment and at least 5 to 20 years imprisonment for the June 28, 2013 fire. However, Moore and U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson agreed that the sentences could run consecutively for a minimum of 12 years, Thyer said.
Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more details.