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Forum News Service, Published April 04 2014

Woman pleads not guilty to setting fire to Ada home

ADA, Minn. - A Norman County woman accused of trying to burn down the home of an Ada man in March has pleaded not guilty.

Virginia Adams, 28, is charged with first-degree arson, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, said Norman County Attorney James Brue.

After her appearance in court Wednesday, she remains in the regional jail in Crookston under a $25,000 bond.

According to a statement of probable cause, the victim and another man told investigators that Adams had been trying to get into house but they were trying to avoid her. After pounding on the back entry for up to 45 minutes, she left. That’s when the men smelled smoke and discovered a fire at the back entry.

They called 911 around 2:30 a.m. March 11.

“They knew each other,” Brue said of Adams and the two men.

Investigators drove to Adams’ home near Hendrum, about 16 miles away, and talked with a man who lived there. The man said that when Adams came home, she told him “she had just burned down” the Ada man’s house. He said she smelled of smoke.

Brue said the fire was extinguished quickly did “minimal damage” to the house.

She is scheduled for a pretrial conference May 7, he said.