AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin woman is facing arson charges after she bragged about starting a fire and later claiming insurance money.
A tip to the Texas Arson Hotline in May said 23-year-old Ashlee King intentionally set fire to her North Austin apartment on Nov. 16, 2010, in order to receive an insurance payment. She was charged with arson of a habitation, a first-degree felony.
King allegedly used a candle to burn the electrical cord of a fan, sending sparks onto a mattress. The fire and smoke damage to the unit at 7201 Hart Lane was minor, but King received $10,000 in insurance money.
The tipster said King bragged about starting the fire and deceiving fire investigators and her insurance company. That information and subsequent interviews with investigators helped lead to her arrest. King initially denied that a fire had happened, then tried to blame her mother, fire investigators added. They also said King’s name was on the insurance policy, the apartment lease and the check for the insurance money.
King was released on $15,000 bond. She faces between five and 99 years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine. The insurance company may also seek restitution.