A Clarke County judge recently ordered an Athens woman to serve 15 years on probation and undergo psychological evaluation for intentionally setting fire to an eastside apartment in 2015, killing two dogs.
Courtney Nicole Davis, 20, had been scheduled to go to trial or enter a plea in March, but she absconded and Superior Court Judge H. Patrick Haggard issued a bench warrant for her arrest.
Davis was re-arrested July 21.
The fire occurred in September 2014 at Laurel Oaks apartments on Royale Road.
After firefighters finished extinguishing the blaze, they found two dead dogs in a back room of the apartment, where authorities said Davis had spent the night, according to Athens-Clarke County police.
Police said that on the morning of the fire, a neighbor went out to get something from her car and noticed smoke coming from the apartment. While checking to make sure no one was in the apartment, the neighbor found Davis sitting on the apartment’s back porch with her head down and saying, “I did it. I did it. It was my fault,” according to police.
Davis left the scene prior to the arrival of police, but her mother arrived and told officers she had been staying with Davis at the apartment and believed her daughter could have been responsible. The redacted police report noted that the mother told officers that Davis had been “talking out of her head.”
Court records indicate that the day before the fire, Davis had been discharged from a mental health facility where she had been involuntarily committed for an evaluation. According to published reports prior to the fire, Davis had been arrested in different counties for illegal drugs and various other offenses.
Davis was eventually located elsewhere in the apartment complex, and police took her into custody for questioning. When a detective asked what she had been up to, Davis reportedly replied, “Chillin’ like a villain,” according to court records.
She told the detective she had set the fire because she “felt like it,” court records indicate.
In January 2015, a Clarke County grand jury filed an indictment charging Davis with first-degree arson and two counts of cruelty to animals. In a negotiated agreement with prosecutors on Oct. 25, David pleaded guilty to all charges.
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