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Burr Changes Plea to “No Contest” in Arson Case

BY LEANN DILBECK –

Alisha Burr appeared before Polk County Circuit Court Judge J.W. Looney today and changed her plea to “no contest.” Burr was charged with Arson {5-38-301}, a Class A Felony, three counts of Aggravated Assault {5-13-204}, a Class D Felony, and Criminal Mischief in the First Degree {5-38-203a1}, a Class D Felony, in October 2013, stemming from a “suspicious” house fire in 2012 at a home on Westmoreland Drive off Hwy 375S that was owned by Michael White.

Also charged in the same case was Adam Laird, who was charged only with Criminal Mischief in the First Degree {5-38-203a1}, but a “continuance” has been filed by his attorney, Wayland A. Parker, II.

Burr appeared with her attorney, Ernie Witt, and answered a series of questions by Judge Looney, who confirmed she was waiving her constitutional right to a trial.

Looney will now give the case the probation office, who will conduct a pre-sentencing investigation to conclude that Burr has no previous felonies or criminal history, as she testified in court today. Had Burr faced trial and been found guilty, she would have faced 6 to 30 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.

Once the report is complete, Burr will appear back before Looney on August 11 for sentencing.  Looney stated that since Burr had no previous felonies and no criminal history, it would not be unusual for Burr to receive probation and restitution.

Also present in the courtroom were the victims in the case, Telina Dedmon and her daughter Melanie, who lived in the home and were sleeping at the time of the fire.  Prosecuting Attorney Andy Riner requested Looney to consider a letter from the victims prior to sentencing, which Looney granted.

Riner also requested, since Burr was not being remanded into custody, to begin paying restitution.  Witt explained that while Burr is aware she will be responsible for restitution, Riner’s request was unexpected, and asked that restitution payments be delayed until sentencing, which Looney concurred.

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11 comments

  1. How can someone who sets fire to a place with people asleep inside get only probation. Amazes me!!!

  2. Tht is one big sorry excuse of a law enforcement if all she gets is that.

  3. Justice in Polk county consists mainly of generating revenue for the judicial system and less about actual justice for real victims.

  4. What’s scary… is she is a nurse. Do you want this nurse taking care of your loved ones? Physco!!!!!

  5. It isn’t law enforcement. They arrested her. It is the judicial system. I’d say it amazes me, but really it doesn’t. Lets not make her sit in jail…so she is free to roam the streets…but not made to start paying restitution. What about all the personal things that restitution cannot pay for, like family photos and keepsakes, the feeling of security, the loss of a family pet. It seems like the criminal has more rights than the victims. People get prison for drugs, hot checks, not paying child support…BUT you can burn down an OCCUPIED home and walk free. She KNEW and INTENDED to do what she did. She knew right from wrong. She KNEW there were people in the house. She purposely and with maliciousness set fire to the home. To me that is premeditation and attempted murder x 3. Probation? Really? Hello Prosecution and Judge…DO THE RIGHT THING and sentence her to prison where she belongs, because next time she could succeed.

  6. It isn’t law enforcement. They arrested her. It is the judicial system. I’d say it amazes me, but really it doesn’t. Lets not make her sit in jail…so she is free to roam the streets…but not made to start paying restitution. What about all the personal things that restitution cannot pay for, like family photos and keepsakes, the feeling of security, the loss of a family pet. It seems like the criminal has more rights than the victims. People get prison for drugs, hot checks, not paying child support…BUT you can burn down an OCCUPIED home and walk free. She KNEW and INTENDED to do what she did. She knew right from wrong. She KNEW there were people in the house. She purposely and with maliciousness set fire to the home. To me that is premeditation and attempted murder x 3. Probation? Really? Hello Prosecution and Judge…DO THE RIGHT THING and sentence her to prison where she belongs, because next time she could succeed.

  7. She has had it out for Talina for a longtime so now she almost kills her and her kids and gets away with it. What’s up with this world and the law of today. Polk county has to be on top of things and put nuts like her away for life for next to nothing because they didn’t like them. but I guess it’s all in who you know. This is so so wrong and if she gets off Polk county is just letting everyone else that won’t to set someone house on fire to kill them know it’s OK. She is no different than the next person. if it was someone who you didn’t like they would be gone for life we all know that. I am asking you to think hard and long on this. You need to think about Talina and the kids not this nuts that is running free. I know the kids or Talina will never be the same why because this nut set there house on fire and killed there dog all because her husband not wanting to be with anymore. What’s up with this?? Think of this like it was your family because she and kids are my family and I know she should get the the max with no doubt.

  8. This is truly outrageous. How can you set fire to someonnes house and walk aroud like you are innocent. She has no heart about her. And where were alishas kids when she wad doing all fhustevil. She wasn’t thinking about them then. What a sick evil petson. I hope she gets what she deserves. She needs to be locked up in a mental institution
    Het ehole family is psycho!!

  9. DEAR JUDGE LOONEY

    No contest is no more than saying “I did it but I dont have the balls to face a jury” I agree with those that think she knew what she was doing. I feel that her “record” being clean is not reason to let her walk. People go their whole lives never getting in trouble then snap and kill someone and go to prison for life for 1 ISOLATED EVENT. What if they hadnt got out of that house in time? There pet was killed and that alone is a felony. She needs jail times bc since this has taken place she has publically showed NO REMORSE for her crime. I am on her facebook (when it isnt deactivated when she hits front page) She has joked about how her halloween costumn should be a sexy cop and laughed which I thought was pretty tacky. People that do things like this and make jokes are sick sick people. For those that know her know she is not all there in the head. She is out of control and needs time to think about what her crazy has done. No nursing, No kids, No freedom just alone time in a cell.

  10. She should be charged with attempted murder and a trial should be mandatory

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