CLEARFIELD – A woman accused of setting a fire in her room at the Economy Inn in order to see her son when he responded to the scene waived all charges to court Wednesday at the Clearfield County Jail.
Robin Lynn Miller, 39, of Clearfield has been charged with arson-danger of death; arson-inhabited building or structure; aggravated arson-bodily injury; aggravated arson-person present inside property; arson-intent destroy unoccupied building; arson endangering property-reckless endangerment of inhabited building; reckless burning or exploding, two counts; dangerous burning; causing catastrophe; risking catastrophe; criminal mischief, two counts; recklessly endangering another person, 17 counts; aggravated assault; simple assault, 18 counts; disorderly conduct, two counts; and possessing instrument of crime. Bail has been set at $50,000 monetary.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Lawrence Township police were dispatched to a structure fire at 2:13 a.m. June 26 inside Room 106 of the Economy Inn. Upon arrival to the scene, police found a woman, Miller, who was crying and sitting outside of the room. Police entered the room to find the fire was out and heavy smoke emitting from inside.
When police asked Miller what caused the fire in the room she resided in, she allegedly said, “I admit I went and got the kerosene can, took it to the room and I dropped the lighter.” When Miller was transported to the police station, an officer asked if she wanted to discuss the fire, at which point she replied, “No, I want an attorney.” Police advised that was OK and they wouldn’t discuss the fire without her attorney present.
Police contacted the on-call Clearfield County probation officer who asked if criminal charges would be filed in relation to the fire. When advised yes, the PO had police house Miller at the jail. Police then advised Miller that she would be detained by adult probation, and police would file new criminal charges.
While being transported to the jail, Miller said she wanted to speak with police about the fire. Police advised Miller she had already indicated she wanted her attorney to be present, and police would not speak with her about the fire. Miller was subsequently housed at the jail on a probation detainer.
Police returned to take control of the fire scene, where evidence was laying in the parking lot area outside of Room 106. A Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal was requested and dispatched to the scene. Upon arrival a fire marshal began to photograph and log evidence, which included: liquid from a partially burnt red fuel container; a partially burnt red fuel container; burnt fabric from a chair, which had caught fire; pieces of carpet material from inside the room; and a multi-colored lighter.
On the night of the fire, police interviewed Miller’s live-in boyfriend. He said Miller tried to provoke an argument with him earlier that night, and he told her they’d discuss what was troubling her in the morning. After he’d gone to bed, he allegedly heard Miller “messing around” in the room and then saw flames on the floor.
According to Miller’s live-in boyfriend, he panicked and attempted to put out the fire with a pillow. He also attempted to put out the fire with a blanket and other items within his reach. At one point, he attempted to jump over the flames to get out of the room for fire extinguishers. He was able to retrieve fire extinguishers and put out the fire.
He told police that he’d injured his foot at some point. As a result, he was taken to the Clearfield Penn Highlands Hospital by private vehicle for medical treatment. His foot injury, according to police, was classified as a second-degree burn.
On July 10, police interviewed Miller’s live-in boyfriend a second time. When asked to explain the events that occurred during the early morning hours June 26 he provided the same statement as given during his first interview with police.
When asked he didn’t believe Miller was trying to hurt him by starting the fire. He then explained that Miller was upset that her son wouldn’t come to the motel to see her. He said Miller made the comment that she would “get her son there one way or the other.” He believed Miller was so upset she set a small fire, so that she would see her son when he responded with the fire department.
Miller’s live-in boyfriend told police that there were 18 renters staying at the motel, which included him and Miller.
The fire marshal told police that evidence and Miller’s statements showed that the fire was clearly arson. Evidence present at the scene showed a combustible substance was poured in different areas within the room. The fire marshal believed Miller lit the floor area, which likely spread to a nearby chair and caught it on fire.