"Jason Crump, her attorney, said that Lattimore had been taking medication for depression at the time, but had stopped at Smith’s insistence. He said that she had been sexually abused as a child and had been physically abused by the fathers of her two children.http://www2.journalnow.com/news/2011/apr/27/woman-accused-burning-apartment-complex-sentenced–ar-984371/
Woman accused of burning apartment complex sentenced to at least three years
By Michael Hewlett
Published: April 27, 2011
A woman accused of setting fire to an apartment that left 20 people displaced was sentenced to at least three years in prison after entering a guilty plea.
Sheila Evette Lattimore, 31, of 5440 Countryside Drive, Apt. F, pleaded guilty today in Forsyth Superior Court to first-degree arson and burning personal property. Judge Andy Cromer sentenced her to three years and two months to four years and seven months in prison.
Her husband, Dalren Smith, broke down in tears after hearing the sentence and then stormed out of the courtroom, pushing open the doors in anger. Family members and friends consoled him outside the courtroom.
The fire started shortly after 8 p.m. on Jan. 5, 2010 at Countryside Villa Apartments at 5460 Countryside Drive, off Shattalon Drive. Lattimore lived in the apartment with her fiancée at the time, Dalren Smith, and her two children and Smith’s four children.
Prosecutors said Lattimore got into an argument with Smith and then went into the bedroom where she set some papers on fire over the bed.
Matt Guffey, an investigator with the Winston-Salem Fire Department, testified that the fire burned the roof off half the apartment. No one was injured, but 10 adults and 10 children were displaced. The fire caused $558,000 in structural damage, Guffey said after the hearing.
Jason Crump, her attorney, said that Lattimore had been taking medication for depression at the time, but had stopped at Smith’s insistence. He said that she had been sexually abused as a child and had been physically abused by the fathers of her two children.
Lattimore said in court that she had not been arguing with Smith, who is now her husband. She said she had gone into the bedroom to burn old checks and made a mistake burning them over the bed.
She said she immediately tried to put out the fire and sent her children to knock on neighbors’ doors to warn them about the fire. She said she never meant to start a fire.
“I wasn’t in the right frame of mind but I wasn’t in a hurtful frame of mind,” she said.