Woman Accused of Conspiring to Burn Ex-husband’s Home Gets Re-sentenced

CLEARFIELD – A former Winburne woman who conspired to burn her ex-husband’s home was back in Clearfield County Court.

Deanna Marie Nevel, 32, an inmate of state prison pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy/murder in the first degree and criminal conspiracy/arson in October of last year. At that time, she was sentenced to eight to 20 years in state prison.

She has been re-sentenced to seven to 20 years in state prison. Her minimum sentence was lowered due to a Post Conviction Relief Act petition filed by Nevel.

The charges stem from an incident on Nov. 3, 2010 when a mobile home in Decatur Township was destroyed by fire. The home was occupied at the time by three people, including Nevel’s ex-husband.

According to the affidavit, one of the victims told police he woke up and was able to get everyone out through a rear door. They were only outside for a few minutes when the windows in the area where the fire started, broke out. An officer examining the area could smell a petroleum product which was possibly gasoline.

After the fire when her daughter was in a car with Nevel, Nevel stated that she wished her ex-husband and his mother had died in the fire so she would not have to “deal with this.”

When her ex-husband was interviewed by police, he explained he had partial custody of the children and was working on fixing up his father’s place for them. He verified there was a custody hearing scheduled just a few days after the fire.

Police also investigated a second fire at the two-story home in Boggs Township that her ex-husband was repairing. This fire also had suspicious origins. Officers became aware of this fire after speaking with Hilmer Harris.

In his interview with police, Harris detailed how they traveled to the trailer that night and started the fire by using a rag with gas on it. Nevel told police how they also set fire to the other home.

In March, Harris, 21, of Philipsburg, pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy/arson, two counts of arson, and three counts of recklessly endangering another person. He was sentenced to five to 10 years in state prison.

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