Woman sentenced to 20 years in prison after setting multiple fir - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Woman sentenced to 20 years in prison after setting multiple fires

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A wife and mother arrested in connection with numerous arson fires dating back to 2012 has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, according to the office of Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Frederic Cowan.

Judge Cowan issued the sentence against Linda Lee Thursday morning. This comes after she pleaded guilty to 31 counts of arson and 18 counts of wanton endangerment for setting wreaths and other decorations on fire in Jefferson County.

The law allows Lee to apply for shock probation in the case, anywhere from 30 days to six months after today's sentencing.

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. 

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..." 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.

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. 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."

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