My Pulse News

Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

Burr Changes Plea to “No Contest” in Arson Case


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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