River Road pharmacy case: 2 linked by authorities to pharmacy fire, alleged insurance fraud indicted

Lillian Dion Burkett and Kayla Price — two people linked by authorities to the River Road Pharmacy fire and an alleged insurance fraud — were indicted Tuesday by a Muscogee County grand jury.

Burkett, 50, faces indictments on charges of first-degree arson, false report of a crime, false swearing, two counts of conspiracy to commit a crime and three counts of insurance fraud.

Price, 22, was indicted on a count of insurance fraud.

Burkett, her son Bobby Jo Burkett, 29, and Michael Lowery, 30, face charges in connection with the Sept. 27, 2009, fire that gutted the pharmacy at 5100 River Road.

In addition, Lillian Burkett is accused in her indictment of telling her son and Lowery on Oct. 11, 2009, to take her Ford Expedition to Talbot County and burn it. Both Lillian Burkett and Price are accused of lying about the alleged Oct. 11, 2009, theft of Burkett’s Expedition in order to get an insurance claim.

Columbus Fire & EMS officials announced in March that the two Burketts and Lowery faced accusations in connection with the pharmacy fire. In late August, they announced a fourth suspect: Misty Joiner, 29, who once worked for the pharmacy. Authorities issued warrants for her after interviewing her in connection with the blaze.

Fire Marshal Thomas Streeter said at the time that Joiner had sent investigators on “a wild goose chase.”