|For Immediate Release
Case #11HF1337 May 24, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
WOMAN CHARGED WITH ARSON AFTER SETTING SIX FIRES IN IRVINE
NEWPORT BEACH – A woman was charged today with setting six fires in the City of Irvine. Jana Marie Spires, 38, Irvine, is charged with five felony counts of arson of another’s property and one felony count of arson of a structure. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of nine years and four months in state prison. The defendant is being held on $50,000 bail and was arraigned today. She is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing June 2, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-1, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.
At approximately 9:00 p.m. on Jan. 23, 2011, Spires is accused of entering an Irvine apartment complex parking lot and approaching a 2009 Mercedes, stuffing newspaper into the opening of the driver’s side door, and lighting it on fire before fleeing the scene. The vehicle owner’s son noticed the damage to the car and told the victim, who called 911.
On Feb . 14, 2011, Spires is accused of lighting a replica acrylic U.S. flag on fire while it was hanging in a flag holder on the side of a residential home’s garage in Irvine. She is accused of fleeing the scene. The owner of the home noticed the flag had been burned and contacted police.
Later that day, Spires is accused of placing a pack of cigarettes outside the corner of an Irvine home’s garage, lighting it on fire, and fleeing the scene. The defendant caused the homeowner’s garage to catch on fire. The victim smelled the odor of fire as she exited her house from her garage, saw the fire, and called 911.
Late in the evening on April 2, 2011, Spires is accused of stuffing paper and igniting it on fire between the spare tire and license plate of a 2003 Hummer that was parked in a lot of an Irvine apartment complex. The defendant is accused of then approaching a 2003 Infiniti that was parked with its windows rolled down a few inches alongside a curb of the same apartment complex. Spires is accused of setting a second fire by igniting newspaper on the front seat. The defendant is accused of then fleeing the scene. A neighbor saw the Hummer fire and put it out with a garden hose before contacting police. Irvine Police Department (IPD) officers responded to the scene of the hummer fire and noticed the second car fire.
Late in the evening on May 21, 2011, Spires is accused of entering the playground of Springbrook Elementary School in Irvine. She is accused of lighting pizza boxes on fire and fleeing the scene. A nearby IPD officer who noticed the playground fire and observed the defendant leaving the scene. Upon further investigation by IPD, Spires was linked to the six fires and arrested at her apartment that was in the same neighborhood as the Springbrook Elementary playground fire.
Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.