Court: Mother accused of forcing son to assist in 2012 trailer arson

tstevens@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 9, 2014 

Damisha White

When Damisha White learned she was going to be evicted from her 988 Farr Road trailer home, she handed her son lighter fluid, a fire investigator told the court Wednesday.

White, 34, faced charges of first degree arson, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and conspiracy to commit a crime during a Recorder's Court hearing.

White initially blamed the Nov. 16, 2012, fire on her then 12-year-old son, according to court testimony. However, the son told detectives his mother woke him up early that morning, gave him lighter fluid and asked him to go to the rear of the trailer.

The son, who was later charged with arson, had several burns on his hand. An estimated $12,000 in damage was done to the trailer, which was occupied by six people.

Several other witnesses told police they heard rumors that White planned to burn the trailer. Investigators were unable to corroborate the story until two years later, when a former roommate called with additional information, according to court testimony.

The roommate told investigators White stated numerous times in his presence that she planned to set the trailer on fire to avoid eviction. She also hoped to get money and goods from the American Red Cross, the investigator said. White is also accused of moving most of her belongings to a storage unit in the days leading up to the fire.

Days after the arson, White's son allegedly told the former roommate that his mother forced him to commit the crime, according to court testimony.

White was arrested on warrants at the intersection of Shelby Street and Fort Benning Road on July 3, according to an arrest report.

Judge Michael Cielinski set White's bond at $16,000. Her case will be forwarded to the Muscogee County Superior Court.

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