Police arrest Louisville mom accused of setting dozens of fires - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Police arrest Louisville mom accused of setting dozens of fires

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Police say a wife and mother has been arrested in connection with numerous arson fires dating back to 2012.

Police arrested 54-year-old Linda Lee Thursday night. She's now charged with 37 counts of arson that caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage and at least one injury. Investigators tell us some of the fires were targeted, and some were set at random.

WDRB has obtained court documents that detail some of the fires. In some cases, Lee is accused of setting several fires on the same day.

According to one arrest report, Lee admitted that she intentionally set fire to a duplex in the 1600 block of Belmar, causing $20,000 in damage. Police say Lee also admitted to setting numerous other fires, including several flags, door mats, motorcycles, and more than a dozen Christmas wreaths.

[CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARREST REPORTS]
One person was taken to the hospital after police say Lee set fire to a home in the 3700 block of Rosemont, but investigators say that person may have had a pre-existing medical condition.

Arson investigators say Lee did not fit the profile of a serial arsonists, which is why it took took two years to arrest her. They say her family members were stunned by the arrest.

"We've talked to all kinds of family members yesterday," said Major Henry Otts with the Louisville Metro Arson Squad. "And they're all shocked. They're surprised. They believe in her heart she's a good woman, although she readily admitted she's a very dangerous woman."

In court, Lee told the judge, "I have a daughter that goes to high school and I care for my mother. She'll be 90. I'm her caretaker."

Police say Lee's motive was domestic issues and a feeling she's been unsuccessful in her life.

Lee faces numerous charges of arson and wanton endangerment. She pleaded not guilty in arraignment court on Friday. She is expected to be charged in 19 additional incidents.

The Arson Squad says all of the fires happened between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. within a five mile radius in the McMahan area.

Investigators say Lee set the fires with a cigarette lighter and in a couple cases she used gasoline she found near the locations. She set fire to a variety of things including holiday decorations, dumpsters, a couch inside a home, 3 motorcycles, and U.S. and U of L flags.

Officials say Lee started setting the fires in December of 2012, with the most recent one on Monday at a duplex. Many of the homes were occupied, and in one case, two people were in wheelchairs. No one was injured in any of the fires.

Metro Arson got a break in the case after one apartment had surveillance video of her car. When told in court that she could go to prison for a long time, Lee said, "I know."

Her daughter is now in the custody of her father, Lee's husband. Investigators say any domestic issues Lee had with him were just between the two of them and did not involve the daughter.

The judge lowered her bond from $100,000 full cash to $25,000. She's also been ordered to have no contact with the homeowners at the arson locations.

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