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HVL woman sentenced to 15 years for setting fire to house with son inside PDF Print E-mail
Written by Erika Schmidt Russell   
Monday, January 28, 2013 8:56 PM


A Hidden Valley Lake woman who was charged with setting fire to her house and attempting to kill her young son has been given a 15-year sentence in Dearborn Circuit Court.

Vanessa Dean was charged in January 2012 after setting her family’s Alpine Drive house on fire in October 2011.

She took a plea deal, and Dearborn County Prosecutor said without it Dean may have been found not guilty by reason of insanity had the case gone to a jury trial.

Judge James D. Humphrey’s sentence of Dean has her serving two years on in-home incarceraction and the remainng 13 years suspened but on intensively supervised probation.

Dean also must continue her mental health treatment.

Fire investigators found a gas can and use of the gasoline as an accelerant in the blaze, according to an affidavit filed in the case.

Dearborn County Sheriff’s Detective Shane McHenry interviewed Vanessa Dean at Dearborn County Hospital on the day of the fire.

According to the court records “She stated her mother-in-law is always playing head games with her. She stated that her son Christopher Jr. was in the house on the first floor when she started the fire. She stated she thought the police were there to take her away, and she really did not think aboutwhat she did, but just did it.”

Dean will be allowed to visit her son, who was 4 at the time of the fire, but visits must be supervised.



Last Updated on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 10:21 PM