Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
editor's pick alert

Woman sentenced for 2021 Northside house fire

  • 0
Erin Betts

Erin Betts

A woman who started a house fire at a Northside Missoula residence last year was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Erin M. Betts, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of felony arson in June, according to court documents.

For the arson charge, Betts was sentenced last Friday to 20 years in the Montana State Women’s Prison, with half of that time suspended. She was also ordered by Missoula District Judge Shane Vannatta to pay $500,000 in restitution.

Court documents allege Betts started a house fire in May 2021 that caused the whole structure to be lost and killed two dogs. The estimated property damage was $450,000.

While traveling to the house, a responding officer saw a woman running south over the Scott Street Bridge and recognized her as Betts from previous contacts law enforcement had with her, Missoula County charging documents said.

After speaking with witnesses, officers located Betts at the Poverello Center. They noticed she smelled of gasoline and that her hair had been singed.

When questioned, Betts confirmed she had been near the railroad tracks and Scott Street Bridge when she saw the smoke. She stated that she ran from the smoke to avoid getting in trouble because she was the only one in the area at the time of the fire and could be considered a person of interest, charging documents said.

Betts had two additional cases pending in district court, both of which she received a 10-year sentence for; they will run simultaneously to Betts’ sentence for the house fire.

She was originally charged with two counts of aggravated animal cruelty in addition to the arson charge, but both were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Large numbers of Russians rushed to book one-way tickets out of the country while they still could Wednesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of military reservists for the special military operation in Ukraine. Flights filled up quickly and the prices of tickets for remaining connections sky-rocketed, apparently driven by fears that Russia's borders could soon close or of a broader call-up that might send many Russian men of fighting age to the frontline. Tickets for the Moscow-Belgrade flights operated by Air Serbia, the only European carrier besides Turkish Airlines to maintain flights to Russia despite a European Union flight embargo, sold out for the next several days. Russians don't need visas to enter Serbia, which is the only European country which has not joined Western sanctions against Russia. Putin's decree stipulates that the amount of people called to active duty will be determined by the Defense Ministry. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a televised interview that 300,000 reservists with relevant combat and service experience initially would be mobilized. Meanwhile in Russia, police in riot gear packed protesters into buses on Wednesday as St. Petersburg joined other Russian cities to rally against the military mobilization. Nearly 1,200 Russians were arrested in protests in cities including Moscow and St. Petersburg, according to the independent Russian human rights group OVD-Info.

0 Comments
You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.
0
0
0
0
5

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Listen now and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | RSS Feed | Omny Studio

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alert

Breaking News