Woman ordered to stand trial in fatal boarding house fire
By JOE MANDAK, Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Pittsburgh woman has been ordered to stand trial in a boarding house fire that killed its owner and two other residents, even though her confession of how she allegedly started the blaze differed from scientific evidence found at the scene.
Forty-four-year-old Latoya Lyerly is charged with criminal homicide and arson in the Feb. 17, 2016 blaze. Seventy-three-year-old Derlyn Vance owned the house and died, along with two residents.
A detective testified Friday that Lyerly told her she lit paper coffee filters on fire and used them to ignite chairs and a couch.
Earlier in Lyerly's preliminary hearing, an arson investigator said the fire was started by someone who poured gasoline or kerosene around a mattress and some stairs.
Her public defender declined to comment after the hearing.
This story has been corrected to note that the detective said Lyerly claimed to have set the fire using paper coffee filters, not paper cups.Associated Press