Carol Field, a 66-year-old grandmother and former nurse, has admitted to setting 18 fires across Maine in what is being reported as a desperate cry for attention.
According to County District Attorney Angela Cannon, the grandmother said when questioned that "all her life she cared for everyone else, and nobody cared about her or paid attention to her.
She reportedly faces five counts of arson in Cumberland County and another five in York County, after setting fire to, among other places, a garage, a barn, and a 177-year-old church.
Though the fires allegedly caused hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage, no injuries were reported.
Newsy has more information, via the Huffington Post:
The Portland Press-Herald adds:
J.P. DeGrinney, Field's court-appointed attorney, questioned the validity of Field's confession to all 18 fires. He said she was subjected to a prolonged interview in which her answers may not have been voluntary. The suppression of her statements would have been the subject of a hearing next week.
After her arrest, Field went to the state-run Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta for evaluation and treatment. Although she suffers from anxiety and depression, she was essentially given a clean bill of heath in terms of criminal responsibility, Superior Court Justice Roland Cole said during the proceeding.
Field is a former nurse who worked most recently at a sandwich shop. Her prior criminal history includes convictions for shoplifting groceries, furnishing liquor to a minor and impersonating a police officer, more than 30 years ago.
Field did not speak at any length during the hearing. She answered clearly in response to procedural questions from Cole, and as she said "guilty" to each of the six counts. [Emphasis added]
Field could be incarcerated for two years for the crimes, according to reports. While arson carries a maximum penalty of thirty years, because no one was injured, her sentence will likely be much shorter.