Woman charged with arson in group home

IDAHO FALLS – A disabled woman has been charged with arson after MPs say she burned down the group home where she lived.

The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office has launched an investigation after the May 24 fire at the Farnsworth Drive group home. According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by EastIdahoNews.com, a staff member told investigators that 19-year-old customer Kaitlynne Kilburn started the fire after getting angry.

Court documents indicate Kilburn has the mentality of a six-year-old.

A member of staff explained that she started screaming outside the house before entering and throwing things into the kitchen. According to court documents, Kilburn then grabbed a saucepan and started hitting the staff member with the object. Another customer and the staff member walked out to get away from Kilburn and they say that’s when the fire started.

After the fire broke out and everyone was outside, the staff member said Kilburn came out and handed him a green lighter. The lighter is said to come from a cabinet which is usually locked but which was open because they were receiving medication there at the time.

Firefighters were called to the house and quickly put out the blaze. MPs noted in a report that the fire broke out in two places in the kitchen as well as in the dining room. The fire left a cabinet and part of a wall burnt. The fire also melted objects in the kitchen and water was all over the floor.

The owner of the group home told investigators he wanted to pursue the arson and battery charges against Kilburn because of the incident.

Investigators told Kilburn she was under arrest. When MPs read Kilburn her rights, she replied that she had “maybe” understood. The deputies then called her mother and released her into his custody.

The sheriff’s office forwarded the case to Bonneville County prosecutors who filed charges in September. She was booked and then released to the Bonneville County Jail on Thursday.

While Kilburn is charged with crimes, that doesn’t necessarily mean she committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

A preliminary hearing for Kilburn is scheduled for October 29.

About Darnell Yu

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