Forest Place Arsonist Pleads Guilty to Two Counts

by Gwen Moritz  on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014 5:04 pm  

Lacey Rae Moore pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of arson for setting fires in the north and south buildings of the Forest Place Apartments complex on University Avenue in Little Rock last year, U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer announced.

Moore has agreed to pay restitution of more than $12.5 million for damage caused by seven fires at the apartment complex, including five for which criminal charges were dropped as part of her plea agreement.

Moore faces a statutory sentencing range for one count of seven to 40 years imprisonment of five to 20 years for the other count. As part of the plea deal, the prosecution and defense will recommend that U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson sentence Moore to consecutive sentences resulting in a minimum prison sentence of 12 years.

Thyer said Moore admitted in court that she set all of the fires.

"There is no way to restore what people lost in the fires set by Lacey Moore at Forest Place Apartments," Thyer said in a press release. "There is, however, some consolation in this plea today that Ms. Moore is being held responsible for the millions of dollars’ worth of damage to the destroyed buildings, the injuries to the two valiant firefighters and the displacement of residents as a result of the fires she started."

Moore had been indicted by a federal grand jury in February on seven counts of arson after an investigation into the seven fires that broke out at Forest Place Apartments between February and June 2013. She pleaded guilty to starting the two largest fires: the May 16 fire that destroyed the complex's north building and the June 28 fire in the south building.

The north building fire forced the evacuation of 300 residents and permanently displaced 79 of them. It also resulted in injuries to two firefighters.

Another 100 residents were evacuated in the south building fire.



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