Foreclosed Homeowner Accused of Torching Home Found Not Guilty in Arson Case


“Prosecutors argued Smith set the fire two years after the primary mortgage-holder, Bank of America, placed the house in foreclosure and opted to give the house to a receiver, possibly limiting Smith’s access to the property and rental money.”


Rock Hill homeowner found not guilty in arson case

YORK — Carrying a wash basin of court and bank documents, a Rock Hill woman accused of setting her family home on fire told prosecutors it would’ve been “stupid” for her to start the blaze that incinerated the top half of a house she paid thousands of dollars to remodel.

A judge agreed.

After a two-day bench trial in a York County courtroom, Eighth Circuit Court Judge Frank R. Addy on Tuesday ruled that Charlotte Ann Smith, 63, was not guilty of burning $125,000 worth of a house she owned at 4986 Mount Gallant Road.

Deputies charged Smith with third-degree arson on Feb. 14, 2011, nearly two weeks after Rock Hill and Newport volunteer fire crews were called to an early-morning fire at the two-story home with an attached apartment Smith rented out to tenants.

York County Fire Investigator Andrew Rollins ruled the fire an arson and fielded Smith’s theories that Guardian Fidelity Mortgage, the secondary mortgage holder on the house, conspired to burn the house to collect a $500,000 from an insurance policy they had on the house.

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2 Responses to “Foreclosed Homeowner Accused of Torching Home Found Not Guilty in Arson Case”
  1. pam28971 says:

    Wow this is all accelerating faster than I gave it credit for.It has started no way to turn back now.Glad the judge agreed with the homeowner.There might just be a few good judges left others need to step to the plate and do what needs to be done or things like this will continue.Way too bad for everyone concerned.

  2. 1ofthemany says:

    it truly does all come down to the insurance if ya just look around and dig a little…crooks n thieves abound

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