July 30, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
61°F

Wadsworth homeowner gets prison for arson, intends to appeal verdict

MEDINA — A former Wadsworth woman who was convicted in May of burning down her home for $290,000 in insurance money was sentenced Monday to four years in prison.

A Medina County jury found Jill Tucker, 59, guilty of aggravated arson on May 22. She could have been sentenced to up to 11 years in prison.

Jill Tucker

Jill Tucker

Defense attorney Thomas Morris said Tucker intends to appeal the verdict.

“Jill maintains her innocence,” Morris said.

At trial, Morris said it didn’t make sense that his client set the fire because she lost everything she owned in the blaze.

“The only thing she really has left is her family,” Morris said Monday.

Morris said the only victim in the case was the insurance company. Nobody was injured in the fire.

Prosecutors accused Tucker of setting fire to her home at 168 S. Pardee St. in the early morning hours of Oct. 13, 2012.

County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier also placed Tucker on an arson registry, which she’ll have to register with every three months for the rest of her life once she’s released from prison.

County Assistant Prosecutor Scott Salisbury said he would not ask the judge to force Tucker to pay restitution.

During her trial, prosecutors said the fire was suspicious because it spread so quickly and because at least two independent investigators found what they suspected were two points of origin — one on the ground floor and another on the second floor on the opposite side of the home.

No evidence of accelerants like gasoline was found, but police dogs reacted to the smell of accelerants.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com. Follow him on Twitter @ngfalcon.