Winburne Woman Asks for Bail Reduction in Attempted Homicide by Arson Case

Clearfield County Courthouse (GantDaily File Photo)

CLEARFIELD – A Winburne woman accused of conspiring to burn down her ex-husband’s home was in Clearfield County Court Wednesday asking for her million dollar bail to be reduced.

Deanna Marie Nevel, 30, Winburne, an inmate of the jail, is charged with three counts of criminal attempt-murder in the first degree, six counts of criminal conspiracy-murder of the first degree, three counts of criminal attempt-criminal homicide, six counts of criminal conspiracy-criminal homicide, four counts of arson, two counts of criminal conspiracy-arson, and three counts of recklessly endangering another person.

Her attorney, Curtis Irwin, asked that her bail be reduced to a “manageable amount” stating she is taking steps to find employment and has doctor appointments scheduled. He also mentioned her children.

District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. responded that he considered her to be a flight risk due to the seriousness of the charges and the fact she is facing a minimum sentence of ten years in prison. He asked that if Judge Paul E. Cherry reduced her bail, to make it an amount that would secure her appearances in court. He suggested she be put on house arrest with electronic monitoring, not allowing her to leave her residence except to go to work or to the doctor.

Cherry agreed to reduce her bail to $500,000 but if she does post it, she will be on house arrest and not able to leave her home unless she has the approval of her probation officer. She is to have no contact with the victims or their immediate family members including her children.

Her co-defendant, Hilmer Lee Harris, 20, Philipsburg, an inmate of the jail, faces the same charges. His bail remains at a million dollars. Both cases are scheduled for jury selection in August.

The charges stem from an incident onNov. 3, 2010when a mobile home inDecaturTownshipwas destroyed by fire. The home was occupied at the time by Nevel’s ex-husband and two others who were all able to escape the blaze.

Police also investigated a second fire with suspicious origins at a two story home inBoggsTownshipwhich is owned by Nevel’s ex-father-in-law. It was unoccupied at the time, but was under repairs by Nevel’s ex-husband who was fixing it up for him and his children. The alleged motive for the crimes is a custody dispute between Nevel and her ex-husband.

During his interview with police Harris admitted he knew there were people in the trailer when the fire was set but didn’t warn them because the plan was to kill them.

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