Crime

Court: Suspected arsonist sets fire to St. Francis Avenue home

Witnesses say a 33-year-old man tried to set fire to a St. Francis Avenue residence while a 3-month-old baby was inside Monday, according to court testimony.

Trent Byerly waived his Tuesday morning Recorder's Court hearing, where he criminal trespass, first degree attempted arson, and three counts of second degree criminal damage to property charges during a Tuesday morning Recorder's Court hearing. His attempted arson charge was later changed to arson.

The residents of the 4900 block address told Judge Michael Cielinski they found their front door drenched in lighter fluid, with smoke starting to curl up from a small fire around 3:45 a.m.

Byerly is also accused of shattering the windshield on one 51-year-old woman's 2008 Saturn Aura with a flowerpot, according to court testimony. He allegedly damaged another resident's 2002 Ford F-350 with a brick.

Several other small yard ornaments were broken, an officer told Cielinski. Police did not disclose what caused Byerly to allegedly set fire to the residence or how he was connected to the crime.

Cielinski ordered Byerly to stay away from the victims, who he previously lived with at an undisclosed address, according to court testimony. Byerly's bond was set at $56,000.

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