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By Ian Fischer/Journal Staff Writer
A Colchester woman, who is charged with intentionally setting her home on fire while a child was still inside, appeared in McDonough County Circuit Court on Wednesday for a motion to reduce her bond.
Maryanna K. Danielson, 42, was arrested in March by the McDonough County Sheriff’s Department and charged with aggravated arson.
The charges stem from a fire in March at 401 S. Elizabeth St. in Colchester. The house is owned by her estranged husband Mike Danielson. McDonough County Sheriff Mike Johnson said Danielson was allegedly upset after she was served with divorce papers.
After receiving the papers, she allegedly told her six-year-old son to go into a bedroom because she was going to set the house on fire. Danielson allegedly started three small fires in the home. The child was scared, but was able to escape the home.
When firefighters arrived on the scene the interior of the house was engulfed in flames. Firefighters were able to get the blaze under control quickly, but not before the house was gutted, according to Colchester firefighter Steve Carson.
Danielson’s bond was already reduced from $75,000 to $37,500 in April but her attorney asked the court to lower the bond to $10,000.
Danielson testified that she is involved in a pending divorce and is taking 60 mg of Paxil a day for post-traumatic stress disorder from an incident 15 years ago when her then seven-year-old son was killed while riding his bicycle. She added that if her bond was reduced she would stay in Moline with her sister and work at her sister’s plus size clothing store. Danielson, who has been in custody since March 18, added that if the court ordered, she would not have contact with her estranged husband or her children.
Danielson’s husband testified that Maryanna has been dealing with mental issues for years and stated, regarding the safety of his children if she were to be released, that “she has tried to kill one as far as I am concerned.”
McDonough County State’s Attorney James Hoyle argued that Danielson needed to obtain some kind of a mental health evaluation before any further reduction of bond should be considered.
Judge William Henderson denied the motion to reduce bond noting that the bond of $37,500 was appropriate given the type of crime.
Danielson remains lodged in the McDonough County Jail in lieu of bond.